National

Jun 4, 2010 12:06 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Nighttime snacking bad for teeth

Have a case of the midnight munchies? Be careful -- all that nighttime nibbling may be damaging your teeth.

In a new study, researchers at the University of Copenhagen followed over 2,000 adults for six years. They found nocturnal eaters -- those who had a quarter or more of their daily calories after dinner, or would snack in the middle of the night -- lost more teeth than those who ate most of their food during the day.

Experts say saliva flow slows down at night, leaving debris in the mouth and boosting the effect of sugary or acidic foods on the teeth.

Experts say a good brushing before bed should minimize the damage.

The study was published in the journal Eating Behaviors.

 

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