Gluttony is another word you don’t normally associate with the super-fit and sporty! But certain habits such as snacking and grazing put our teeth at risk! Tooth decay is caused by how frequently we snack and how long you are exposed to food at any one time. Every time you eat, your teeth are exposed to the sugars in food, this is called an ‘acid attack’. The bacteria in your mouth (plaque) use these sugars to make acid and if teeth are exposed to this acid long enough holes develop -this is known as tooth decay.
It is important to beware of hidden sugars in so called ‘Health Foods’! These include culprits like muesli bars and sports bars where seemingly healthy ingredients are bound together with sugar! Frequency of snacking and sipping on foods and drinks that contain sugar like dried fruit, sports gels and energy bars will increase your risk of developing tooth decay.
Protect your teeth by:
- Snacking on foods that have high nutritional value will help with performance and recovery before and after sport.
- Snacking on foods that are light and low in sugar between meals.
- Eating fresh produce. Packaged foods are generally higher in sugar than their fresh alternatives.
- Reading the label – if sugar is listed in the top three ingredients it’s usually not a good sign.
- Searching online is a great way to find healthy snack ideas