You probably don’t think about the health of your teeth during the workday, but that doesn’t mean the war zone that is your mouth has laid down arms. In fact, there are things you do at the office that make you lose the battle, and you don’t even know it.
The free flow of sugary snacks, the unlimited access to coffee, these are things that affect your teeth. And since most people don’t carry a toothbrush in their lunchboxes, what can we do to help our mouths with our office behavior?
We’ve all seen them one morning or another. Donuts and dessert bars stacked on the break room table, just begging us to eat them. Your baking coworkers probably beg you to eat them, too, so they won’t have to take any home. You know why your body doesn’t need them. But did you know that your teeth take a hit, too?
The sugar in those sweet snacks lingers in your mouth long after you’ve swallowed, and unless you finish off your snack with a few swigs of water, the sugar attracts bacteria that will colonize and decay your teeth. It’s not just the baked goods either—sodas, candy, and fruit juices will do the same thing. The next time you go to the office, memorize this list and only eat the “good guys” off the snack table.
While not as big a culprit of negative tooth effects as sugar, coffee doesn’t do you a whole lot of favors. It can stain your teeth. Your teeth are porous, making it easy for the brown color to seep into them. And if you drink more than 3 cups a day, the acidity in coffee can start breaking down your enamel and lead to tooth decay. Follow the tips in this article to minimize coffee’s assault on your teeth—things like lowering your intake and brushing or rinsing your mouth after a cup.
Eating at Your Desk
Ease of access to food throughout the day isn’t great for your teeth, especially if that food is high in sugar or acidity. Even if you bring your own meals rather than partake of community snacks in the break room, if you keep eating throughout the afternoon, you’re going to make it difficult for your teeth to stay clean. And you might be surprised at the foods that you shouldn’t snack on. Fruit juices are high in sugar and acidity. Yogurt is high in sugar. Dental erosion and sugar decay, as described in this article, are the results of desk snacking.
What to do? Think about chewing sugar-free gum when a snack craving hits you at your desk. Eat lunch out more often. Keep your lunch in the break room and eat it in a different location. Assign yourself a limited number of snacks per day, and eat them at a neighbor’s desk or while you take a quick walk. If you start to associate food with other places than your desk, you won’t eat as much and you’ll give your teeth a break.
What do you do at work to keep your mouth healthy?
Maintaining healthy teeth at work may take a little discipline to get started, but you will probably find that it gets easier over time. Abstain from most office baked goods, limit coffee breaks, eat away from your desk, and you’ll be on your way to fewer cavities—and root canals. And false teeth. In fact, why don’t you try bringing low sugar snacks like these to keep temptation at bay?
What do you do at work to keep your teeth healthy? Do you have strategies different from the ones in this article? If you don’t share them in the comment box below, no one will ever be helped by your experience! Let us know today, and we’ll respond right away.