A man eating healthy snacks

How Midnight Snacking Causes Damage To Teeth

Are you guilty of opening the cupboard before bedtime to eat a snack? Whilst eating a snack at midnight shouldn’t be forbidden, it is important to understand whether midnight snacking causes damage to teeth.

There are multiple reasons why people care about a late-night snack. Maybe it is a tradition or just a habit you cannot shake off. You may also feel bored at night, or it is part of your routine.

It is acceptable, so long as you look after your teeth and gums. Should you not do this, you’re putting your oral health in danger.

Below explains this further. Let’s take a look at how midnight snacking causes damage to teeth.

Healthy foods for snacks

Bacteria Build Up

Snacking at midnight can cause bacteria to reside inside your mouth if you go to sleep without brushing your teeth. The bacteria excretes waste after a meal and can become highly acidic. This is bad news for your enamel as well. Dental plaque begins to harden and coat your teeth which contains the bacteria. 

Hardened Plaque and Tartar

As we’ve just mentioned, when the dental plaque builds, it will eventually become harder as a calcified deposit known as tartar. Tartar can darken the shade in your smile and the deposits cannot be removed simply by brushing your teeth. It will require a visit to the dentist who will perform a scale and polish to scrape the deposits off your teeth safely. 

Tooth Decay

Loss of teeth is highly likely if you snack regularly at midnight without brushing your teeth. The saliva in your mouth has a responsibility to wash away for debris to bring your pH levels to a neutral value. At night, we naturally have less saliva, so the debris inside your mouth won’t digest well enough. Thsi means bacteria will grow in the mouth and it is likely to cause tooth decay and gum disease. 

Snacking on healthy foods

Can I Eat At Midnight Without It Affecting My Teeth?

Yes, you can eat at midnight. Ultimately, it can depend on what you eat as well. Are you eating snacks comprising of sugars or healthy fruits? It is likely to consist of something quick to nibble at, which is likely to be something sugary and acidic. 

So, if you’re one who enjoys a midnight snack from time to time, here’s our recommendations on what to do so that there is a lower impact on your teeth and gums.

  • Rinse your mouth after eating or brushing your teeth shortly afterward
  • Consider drinking water to maintain saliva levels before you go to bed
  • Consider healthy alternative snacking choices instead of those that contain sugars and acids

If you want to keep your teeth and gums strong, click here to learn how.

If you’re experiencing any oral health issues, tell us now at Garran Dental and let us help you restore your oral health.