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Can Late-Night Snacking Cause Dental Disease?

Woman eating chocolateThe urge for midnight snacks can be tough to ignore for some people, especially the ones who are currently dieting. Other contributing factors to late-night snacking include insomnia, stress, or simply boredom.

Unfortunately, midnight snacking has been shown to contribute to cholesterol levels, insulin levels, weight gain, and other health problems. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that late-night snacks can also contribute to problems with dental health.

Late-Night Snacks and Dental Disease

Midnight snacking has been proven to cause dental cavities and tooth decay. The severity of these problems depends on what you’re snacking on and how important your dental hygiene habits are to you. You should be flossing every day and brushing every morning and evening. Bedtime brushing is the most important, because during sleep your saliva production slows, providing an ideal environment for bacteria on the teeth. Allowing sugary snacks to sit on the teeth all night will eat away at the enamel, causing all sorts of problems.

Reducing the Need for Late-Night Snacks

Below are a few tips to overcome the need for midnight snacks:

  • Reduce Sugar – Reducing sugar intake will prevent tooth decay and cavities.
  • Have Well-Balanced Meals – If you’re still feeling hungry in the evening, you may not be getting the right nutrition. Eat a well-balanced meal for dinner.
  • Drink Water – Food cravings are sometimes masking thirst. Drink plenty of water to avoid late-night cravings.
  • Avoid Acidic Foods – Highly acidic foods and beverages can eat away at the tooth enamel, making the teeth susceptible to cavities and decay.
  • Floss and Brush Every Night – Brushing and flossing each morning and night removes the food debris and plaque buildup on the teeth.
  • Visit the Dentist – Lastly, visiting Meadows Family Dentistry every six months for a checkup and a dental cleaning allows us to catch dental problems early on, when they’re easier to treat.

To make an appointment here at Meadows Family Dentistry, please contact our Castle Rock, Colorado general dental office today.  

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