Many people gain extra pounds during the holidays because delicious seasonal treats are sugary and fatty. As you diet, you probably try to avoid snacking between meals. However, if you have a mid-morning snack between breakfast and lunch, and visit with Dr. Locke on a regular basis, it will actually help keep you healthier than avoiding food all-together.

The good side of snacking

Eating a mid-day snack will help keep you full enough during the day. If you don’t eat a snack at all, you’ll be so hungry at mealtime that you’ll just choose to eat the first, unhealthy thing that’s available. However, if you eat a mid-morning snack a few hours before lunchtime, it will help keep your stomach from rumbling and you’ll make better food decisions. Choosing healthier foods at mealtimes will help keep your weight loss plan on track and improve your overall health.

The bad side of snacking

If you don’t take care of your teeth during snack time, you can destroy your smile. Every time you eat, you expose your teeth to more harm. The bacteria in your mouth feed off the sugars and carbohydrates that you eat. They then produce an acid that attacks your teeth and contributes to tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems. The more times during the day you eat, the more chances you’re giving the bacteria to feed and attack. In addition, when you snack, you probably can’t brush your teeth right away. This leaves the food debris and sugars on your teeth longer so the bacteria have more time to feed. If you snack too close to mealtime or too often, you also won’t be hungry and your eating patterns will be thrown off.

Convenient, healthy snacks include crackers, cheese, fruit, and vegetables. These foods are healthy for both your teeth and body. Also, if brushing is not available, be sure to rinse your mouth or chew sugar-free gum after your snack to help cleanse your mouth.

Just because you’re trying to lose weight doesn’t mean you should skip meals. Ask Dr. Locke how your snacking habits can help or hurt your smile. Contact our dental office in Waco, Texas at (254) 776-4888 to schedule an appointment.