I often eat some snacks when I'm at PC, usually chips or something unhealthy. I've recently decided to change this a bit to some healthier alternative. Sunflower seeds are great, because some 80g bag takes few hours of cracking the shells, and I don't eat a lot(plus they're way more healthy). 80g of these are probably 40-60g of kernels, which is far less then I'd eat in equivalent of chips.

However, these are hard, and I am aware that they would hurt my teeth in a long run. Is there some nice alternative that would be healthier, both for teeth and body?

  • 3
    I doubt that sunflower sees do your teeth any harm.
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 14:20
  • @CareyGregory Seeds don't to harm but they are very calorie dense. They are by no means an "healthy alternative" if OP wants to lose weight.
    – John
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 15:34
  • 1
    Is your oral fixation related to something crunching or no? Since your choice before was chips & now is seeds, I was wondering if you are someone seeking the crunch or if that was just coincidence. They also, for me both seem to be salty in nature, which may or may not be a factor in how you select.
    – threetimes
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 3:03

2 Answers 2


I had the same problem, except my go-to was hard candy! The more challenging or exciting the project, the more candy I crunched. Can you say tooth decay, boys and girls? Not to mention the issues that come with ingesting all that sugar!

Try mouth exercises! They are no cost, no calorie, easy on your teeth, and may help strengthen some of your many facial muscles!

This works best, of course, if you spending this time at your PC at home ... or if at work, hopefully it is within the privacy of your cubicled walls or office.


  1. Silently stretch your entire mouth to form the vowels (A, E I, O, U) in succession. Be sure to exaggerate your silent pronunciation to engage your entire mouth and to stretch as much of your face as possible. When you get to the letter "U", your lips should be pursed to their farthest extension and your chin should be jutted as far forward as it will stretch.
  2. Opening your mouth as long and as wide as you can, as you would for a dentist visit, and silently mouth the word "La" over and over using only your tongue. You must keep your mouth opened as wide as you can and remember only your tongue can be used to form the word "La, la, la, la, la ...".

Perform each exercise for 1-3 minutes at a stretch. You will find with engaging all of these mouth, lip, and face muscles you have managed to fulfill the need be "orally engaged" without adding calories or tooth decay!

Hope this is helpful!

  • 1
    Hi and welcome to Health SE! Thank you for your post, however post on this site generally have references to verify content. Adding reference would allow your post to follow site guidelines. For more questions consult the help center or ask here. Thank you!
    – Pobrecita
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 17:49
  • Thank you for your very constructive and helpful feedback! My recommendation above came from personal experience, out of sheer frustration of wanting a better alternative other than snacks, toothpicks, straws or gum - the recommendations in abundance on internet articles. Would you recommend I remove my post altogether, since there are no links to corroborate my personal theory?
    – Ceylon_17
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 20:07
  • Of course not, I wouldn't think about that yet! Your post has the beginnings of a good post, just needs some references in compliance with site policy. Are you sure you can't find any for mouth exercises?
    – Pobrecita
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 20:17
  • OK, good! When I tried researching alternatives, I wound up with suggestions for those trying to quit smoking (webmd.com) with gum, straws, toothpicks, etc. Or for people/children with oral defensive/sensory processing disorders (day2dayparenting.com; arktherapeutic.com) who had to be taught not to reject items like feeding spoons, toothbrushes, etc., & foods with different textures. Other suggestions were to find ways to distract yourself by keeping mind & hands occupied, bringing us back full circle to the initial question posted re avoiding snacking while working at your computer.
    – Ceylon_17
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 21:35
  • Actually I have a habit of clenching my teeth/rubbing them against each other, which wears out outer layer of teeth.(not a native speaker here). She said that I shouldn't eat too much snacks(or too often), as this strengthens a habit of rubbing them, and makes them wear out more easily(I'd guess that this would make sense in context of "muscle memory"). So probably stretching my mouth isn't the best way, not to mention that my coworkers would be surprised :) Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 0:03

You have to be proper in your daily routine which has to include your diet, what you eat what you not. You have to take care of it any how for both teeth and your body.

  • 1
    Thank you for your post, however on this site we try to give more detailed answers and require references to verify and support your statements. This answer could be the beginnings to a good answer, but needs some editing. For more help see the help center or ask here. Thank you and welcome to Health SE :)
    – Pobrecita
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 18:28

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