Were you snacking more during lockdown?
When we first went into lockdown, none of us knew what to expect. Some people found life slowed down and they had time to catch up on their reading, fix the garden, or go for a daily walk. Others found lockdown life was a constant whirl of activity as they tried to juggle home schooling while working from the kitchen table and spending all day on Zoom calls.
Maybe it was boredom and the need for distraction, or the craving for a short break from the chaos that drove us to the biscuit barrel. But while we were stuck in the house, there was one thing we were all doing — eating more snacks.
According to the Oral Health Foundation, 61% of people under 35 ate more between meals and 38% of adults and 70% of families with children under five admitted they had been snacking more.
We can be excused of our bad habits during lockdown, after all it was a pretty unique situation, but now we are coming out of lockdown we need to try and shake them off.
Why is snacking bad for us?
We all know that snacking is a bad for our waistline, but do you know it’s also bad for your teeth? Every time you eat or drink, plaque builds up in your mouth. This produces acids that attack the enamel — the hard, outer surface of our teeth. Your mouth neutralises these acids by producing saliva, but this takes about an hour.
If you just eat three meals a day, it’s not a problem. But, if you spend all day nibbling on nuts, cake or chocolate, your mouth doesn’t get a chance to recover. The result could be tooth decay and erosion. With this in mind, maybe it’s time to change our habits and choose our snack-time treats more wisely.
Are there any good snacks?
If you get the urge to snack, the best choice is crunchy fruit or vegetables such as carrots, celery, or apple. Alternatively, you could choose cheese or other low-fat dairy products that don’t contain a lot of sugar. Try to avoid citrus fruits such as oranges and satsumas, or snacks that will stick to your teeth such as toffees, dried fruit, or crisps
And if sugary snacks are irresistible?
If you do succumb to a mid-morning biscuit, chewing sugar free gum afterwards can help your mouth produce more saliva. Or drink a glass of tap water, which has the added bonus of fluoride to protect your teeth.