With Halloween and the holidays approaching, indulging in a sweet treat or two is going to happen. This year, instead of worrying about whether or not your family dentist will find a cavity at your next check-up, check out our tips on how to enjoy sweets while maintaining good oral health!
Brush Your Teeth
The most obvious answer on this list is brushing your teeth, but it’s crucial to wait 30-60 minutes after consumption. Brushing immediately after eating sugary or acidic food can damage the enamel. When you wait at least 30-60 minutes, it allows for saliva to displace some of the acids so you can safely brush your teeth. If you’re enjoying sweet treats away from home, we suggest carrying either a compact, travel toothbrush or disposable options that are easy to carry on the go!
Flossing often gets overlooked despite its connection to not only your gums but overall oral health. While brushing can help remove the sugars after indulging in sweets, there are sometimes more stubborn pieces that can get caught between your teeth. Leaving those pieces for long durations can lead to corrosion of the enamel. Don’t forget to floss in addition to brushing your teeth after eating sugary treats!
If you’re unable to brush your teeth after the allotted time passes or don’t have access to an area where you can easily do so, drinking water is a great alternative. The water will wash away leftover particles from sweets that bacteria thrive on. Additionally, water dilutes acids produced by these bacteria.
Make Smart Choices with Sweets
Not all sweets are made equally. While most sweets aren’t necessarily beneficial to your oral health, some are better than others. Do your best to help keep yourself and your kids away from treats that are hard and sticky. These types of treats tend to hang around in your mouth and on your teeth longer, which increases the risk of tooth decay and plaque. Visit our website to learn more about pediatric and family dental services.
Set a Time Limit
The most significant damage to your teeth happens when you’re consuming sugars for an extended period of time or doing so too frequently. Erosive, acid-causing bacteria feed on overly sugary foods and can result in tooth decay. We don’t expect you to not indulge but it’s important to limit consumption for better oral health.
There are specific types of chewing gum that can actually protect your teeth! Look for gum that includes the ingredient xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that not only sweetens gum but can reduce the number of harmful bacteria in your mouth. This is a great solution for those enjoying sweets on the go, but who might not have a disposable or travel toothbrush on hand!
Low Sugar Treats or Sugar Substitutes
Low-sugar treats are incredibly accessible in today’s day and age. You can find many delicious alternatives to high-sugar candies in most convenience stores. Additionally, utilizing sugar substitutes, like Stevia, in coffee drinks or even baked goods can help satisfy your sweet tooth without the bacteria and decay!
Cheese is a great way to add calcium and protein to your diet, but did you know it can have an even better impact on your oral health? Cheese has the ability to counter acids left behind by sugary food by restoring the natural pH levels of your mouth. It also has casein phosphate which is a compound known to strengthen your teeth and bones.
Did you know there are foods that can promote oral health? Incorporating foods like leafy greens, vegetables, dairy, and fibrous fruits into your diet can help promote good oral health and strengthen your teeth against decay. In turn, enjoying these occasional sweets won’t be as harmful!
Enjoy With a Meal
Saliva production is typically at its highest when you’re eating a meal. When you enjoy sugar with a meal, like juice, sweet tea, or soft drinks, this higher saliva production causes fewer acids to linger on your teeth.
Visit Your Dentist for Regular Check-Ups
It’s important to visit your family dentist every six months for regular cleanings and a check-up! Keeping up with these visits allows professionals to ensure your teeth and gums are both happy and healthy. If issues do arise, your family dentist will be able to catch them before it’s too late!
Fischer Family Dentistry is proud to serve Garden City and the local community, providing exceptional care since 1980. Since then, it has been our mission to provide the highest level of care. We’re a family-run business, and our patients are a part of our family. Interested in learning more about a variety of oral health topics? Like our page on Facebook. If you’re in need of a cleaning, contact our office today to schedule one!