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Best Snacks For Your Teeth

When we talk about junk food or snacks, especially in Malaysia, there are so many choices available.

Treating a person with snacks has undoubtedly become a norm in our culture, regardless of age, gender, social status or position. The difference is only what we select.

Have you ever thought about whether you are taking healthy snacks or something detrimental to your health, particularly your dental health? Perhaps some of you are very concerned about this, but there are people who are just not bothered.

Some might say, ‘it does not matter, as long as you brush your teeth after eating’ or some may even say `It’s alright, you are only taking snacks once in a while, there is nothing wrong … ‘and various other remarks.

The fact is we should all be concerned about our intake of snacks because, every single intake of food or drinks will have some effect on us, either direct or indirect.

You may have heard that excessive sugar intake will cause a child to be hyperactive or `unable to focus’.

For good dental health, we need to be careful with our intake of snacks.

Note the following 3 points: –

  1. Sugar content of food- sweet food (sugar) is the cause of tooth decay
  2. Consistency of food – dried fruits stick to the surface of the teeth and can cause tooth decay
  3. Acidity – sour or acidic food (low pH <5.5) are known to be corrosive. Acid destroys enamel (outer layer of teeth) and cause tooth sensitivity.

The presence of acid with sugar, create a very suitable medium for bacterial growth.

So, choose healthy snacks. Train your children to take healthy snacks. For adults, knowledge on snacks and determination to stay healthy is very important.

What are the characteristics of healthy snacks?

  • Fresh vegetables and fruits, without sugar: e.g- fruit salad / mixed vegetables/ fresh fruits (served without sauce or dipping)

  • Food high in fiber / grains such as nuts, oats and wholemeal. Choose cookies, cakes or pure grain-based beverages, with less sugar or without sugar.

  • Dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese etc. Dairy products contain casein which act as a buffer against tooth decay.

* Creativity during snack preparation is also very important. It is best to maintain the freshness of the food. Avoid preserving food with vinegar, sugar, food colouring and others. Be careful when adding food flavours, choose flavours made from natural sources/based on plants and fruits.

Let us change our snacking habit!!!

References

  1. Worst `Healthy Food’ for Children ‘s Dental Health dipetik pada 12Ogos2014 di http://www.1800dentist.com/worst-healthy-foods-for-childrens-dental-health/
  2. Snacking and Your Teeth cached dipetik pada 12Ogos2014 di http://consumer.healthday.com/encyclopedia/dental-dental-11/misc-dental-problem-news
  3. Malaysian Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescent, Technical Working Group on Nutritional Guidelines (for National Coordinating Committee on Food and Nutrition) MOH 2013
  4. Makanan Sihat Yang Merosakkan Gigi cached on dipetik pada 12Ogos2014 pada http://rapi.karangkraf.com/makanan-sihat-yang merosakkan-gigi

Last Reviewed : 27 October 2014
Writer : Dr. Faizah bt. Kamaruddin
Accreditor : Dr. Savithri a/p Vengadasalam