What Are Fermentable Carbohydrates?

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All carbohydrates break down into simple sugars; however, fermentable carbohydrates break down into sugars in the mouth, allowing the bacteria in your mouth to use them as food that they turn into acids, which can eventually cause tooth decay. According to Simple Steps to Better Dental Health, these foods are not just the obvious “sugar” foods like candy and sodas, but they also include some fruits, crackers and even potato chips. The Academy of General Dentistry suggests combining fermentable carbohydrates with other foods to neutralize acids.

Cookies, candy and even some fruits can cause tooth decay.
Cookies, candy and even some fruits can cause tooth decay.

Sweets

Most people enjoy eating cakes, cookies and other sugary treats; however, they are full of fermentable carbohydrates so eat them with meals or other foods to avoid possible tooth decay. For instance, it is better to eat them as dessert after a meal than to eat them as snacks.

It is better to eat sweets as a dessert in combination with a meal.
It is better to eat sweets as a dessert in combination with a meal.

Crackers

A box of crackers on the counter looks like the perfect in-between meal snack. However, eating these fermentable carbohydrates alone as a snack food contribute to tooth decay. According to the American Academy of Dentistry, it is better to eat cheese with the cracker because this aids in neutralizing the acids.

Eat crackers with cheese, not by themselves.
Eat crackers with cheese, not by themselves.

Pretzels and Potato Chips

Pretzels and potato chips are tempting snacks with their salty, comforting crunch, but they need to be eaten with meals so the fermentable carbohydrates can be neutralized. Nuts are an alternative healthy snack food.

Potato chips are fermentable carbohydrates.
Potato chips are fermentable carbohydrates.

Fruits

Soft, sticky fruits such as bananas and raisins are fermentable carbohydrates, and, although healthy additions to meals, as snacks they can be culprits that eventually lead to tooth decay. According to Simple Steps to Better Dental Health, snacking on raw vegetables or crunchy fruits like apples with high water content that dilutes the sugar is a healthier alternative.

Raw vegetables are alternatives to fermentable carbohydrates.
Raw vegetables are alternatives to fermentable carbohydrates.

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