Are all those so called “Healthy Hiking Snacks” good for you?
There has been lots of blogs written on healthy snacks for hiking, most including, chewy/power bars and dried fruit. Although they may contain lots of protein and vitamins, being in the dental field, I am more than familiar of the damage sticky foods can cause to the teeth.
Since dried fruits and chewy/power bars are sticky they tend to stick to the teeth and stay on them longer than other foods. They get stuck in between the teeth and can cause plaque build-up. If you must eat them it is very important to rinse your mouth out with plain and not lemon water afterwards. Lemon water is acidic and it causes irreversible erosion of the enamel of teeth. This can lead to translucent, sensitive teeth. It may also be a good idea, when hiking , to pack floss to clean between the teeth.
Best snacks would be walnuts, raw almonds and carrots since they last longer outside of the fridge. For shorter hikes, cheese is a great additive. It contains calcium and it also stimulates saliva production which helps clear away food particles from your teeth. Please note that harder cheeses last longer outside of the fridge.