Some snack options out there are pretty sneaky thanks to sugar additives and mass marketing. They rely on easy access and flashy branding to make their way into people’s homes. And once you get a taste of the sweet side, switching to the healthier options gets harder. The unfortunate result is tooth decay (not to mention many other health problems).

In this post, we identify five of the most common tooth-rotting snack items that sneak their way into our patients’ diets.

Common Culprits

Peanut Butter: The natural fats in nuts (including peanuts) coat teeth and form a barrier against bacteria. Many of these easy snacks also contain calcium.

An image showing a bowl of peanut butter.

Peanut butter is a popular snack, but it is often high in sugar.

Ideally, peanut butter should also contain these benefits. But all too often, brands inject their product with enough refined sugar to cause real damage to tooth enamel.

Dried Fruit: Apricots, prunes, pineapples, and many other fruits are popular in their dried forms as an easy snack. Unfortunately, they have high erosion potential because many brands add processed sugar to make them taste sweeter. Plus, they tend to stick to the plaque. This means sugar comes in contact with the teeth for longer, giving bacteria the chance to feed on sugar.

Yogurt-Covered Raisins: There’s a whole debate about the effects of raisins on teeth, but all dentists agree on one thing: raisins coated in sugar or sugar-filled yogurt are detrimental to tooth enamel.

Sweetened Yogurt: Plain yogurt, or yogurt mixed with unsweetened fruit puree or chopped fruit has many dental health benefits. But like the yogurt-covered raisins mentioned above, many brands flavor their yogurt with sugary mixtures that turn a potential benefit into a hazard.

Processed Bread: The worst type of bread for your teeth is processed white bread. Other breads (including many organic, whole wheat brands) contain high levels of sugar. Like peanut butter and dried fruit, this snack is a threat to get caught between teeth, which give the sugars more time to breakdown and turn into bacteria.

Snacking Best Practices

–       Prepare ahead of time and have chopped fruit, sliced veggies, or cubed cheese ready and waiting.

–       Bring healthy snacks with you when you’re out of the house. This will limit the dangerous (and often unhealthy) impulse snack purchases.

–       Try to limit the number of snacks throughout the day.

–       Make sure to brush your teeth (or at least rinse with tap water) after every snack.

Contact Our Office for More Nutrition Tips

We want all of our patients in the Jacksonville area to be as healthy as possible. Our knowledgeable staff has a multitude of ideas and recommendations for snacks the whole family can enjoy. Call 904-384-4391, message us on Facebook, or email for more details.