The coronavirus pandemic could also be having a significant impact on oral health, according to a charity. New research by the Oral Health Foundation shows staying at home has led to more than one-in-three (38%) British adults increasing the amount of times they are snacking throughout the day.

Since lockdown, snacking has risen considerably in younger adults. Nearly two-in-three (61%) under 35s admit they are now eating more often in between meals. Snacking has also risen among families with younger children. Seven-in-ten families (70%) with children under five are reporting more snacking in the household. This is more than double compared with those who are not living with children.

The Oral Health Foundation states it is worried about the damage snacking in between meals can have on oral health. The charity’s Chief Executive, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, says: “Snacking could be the result of boredom and the need to find a distraction that gives us a short-term comfort. The problem is that snacking can have serious repercussions for our health.

“Whenever we eat or drink anything, plaque bacteria builds up in the mouth. This produces acids that attack the teeth, causing tooth decay and erosion. Usually, the mouth can neutralise these acids by producing saliva; however, constant snacking does not give the mouth a chance to recover. This leaves us susceptible to acid attacks.”

Dr Ben Atkins, President of the Oral Health Foundation, adds: “It is important that we are mindful of the harm snacking can do to our health and take actions to prevent any potential damage”.