People who eat too many snacks run the risk of gingivitis, warn oral health experts.
Eating little and often may satisfy hunger pangs but it can damage teeth and gums because the mouth has little chance to recover between meals.
Latest research from the British Dental Health Foundation shows that two out of three people tend to snack throughout the day rather than adhering to the traditional regime of breakfast, lunch and dinner.
This can result in a build-up of plaque acid, leading to the bacteria that cause gum disease, warn the manufacturers of Eludril mouthwash and Elgydium toothpaste.
‘Continually eating sugary snacks and washing them down with fizzy drinks is a short cut to gum disease, which can then lead to more serious medical conditions,’ said a spokesperson for Eludril and Elgydium.
‘The mouth needs time to recover after each meal. It needs time for the acid levels to dissipate. That is why you should always wait until 30 minutes after a meal before brushing your teeth.’
The British Dental Health Foundation surveyed at least 2,000 people. Its poll showed that 67 % believed incorrectly that snacking on fresh and dried fruit through the day was beneficial.
There was also a misconception that cheese was bad for oral health – despite the fact that it contains calcium which is good for the teeth.
Cheese may not great for the waistline with its fat content but it releases a burst of calcium which helps to reduce the impact of fruit acids in the mouth.