It was tough for my children to grow up with a dentist in the home. They’ve gone on to make it tough for my grandchildren, and I’m thrilled. Since the second semester of dental school, I saw firsthand the damage caused by snacking on salty snacks or processed food lunches. I could look at a patient’s x-rays and ask them how many soft drinks they drank daily, without flossing before bed.
Our family allowed snacks, but only “detergent foods”. These were whole foods, like carrots, apples, and celery, that only had natural sweetness and sort of scrubbed plaque off tooth surfaces when chewed. Candy was one piece for a special occasion, not a daily delight. Any chip, pretzel, or “ito”, as we nicknamed them, was never allowed in the house, because they all wedged in the biting surface of teeth – for hours. Though tasting salty, they all broke down to sugar in the mouth, then expensive cavities on permanent teeth.
Similarly, soda pop is basically acid, sugar, and flavoring, in water. Powdered lemonades are only one step better. The acid in soda pop allows the sugar to act even faster to destroy the tooth surface. Sipping soda over an hour makes the process last even longer! I don’t recall how long it took to dissolve an extracted tooth completely, once submerged in soda pop, when I was in dental school. It would certainly be an experiment worth conducting for a science fair.
One of the added advantages of health snacking was the savings in our food budget. Convenience foods have always been expensive for the serving size. Chip bags look full because they are filled with air, but they actually cost a lot per piece – for empty calories. In contrast, a whole apple can fill someone until dinner time. With unsweetened peanut butter, they stay content even longer! Canned fruit, with no sugar added, is as convenient and transportable as chips. A bag of carrots and a glove-compartment peeler always saves the day (and time, when kids perform the peeling) if stuck in traffic. Start thinking of snacks differently and watch your grocery bill and, perhaps, your dental bill go down.
Contact Winterset Dental today to find out which treatment is right for you.