Have Your Cake and Skip the Cavities: How to Protect Your Teeth When Eating Sweets

February 13, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — dr_thomas @ 7:38 pm
Gingerbread man

You only have to take a quick look at the offerings of the local grocery store to realize that people love sugar. You can find it in almost everything from breakfast cereal to barbeque sauce to cola, but all this sugar can take a terrible toll on your oral health if you’re not careful. The harmful bacteria in your mouth also love sugar, and if it is allowed to accumulate in the oral cavity, these germs will multiply rapidly and cause nasty infections like tooth decay and gum disease. Here’s a quick guide to how you can protect your teeth when enjoying sodas, candies, and other sweet treats.

Drink Plenty of Water

Sufficient hydration is essential to your oral health. Saliva plays a key role in protecting your teeth, as it keeps them lubricated to prevent injury, replenishes lost minerals in their enamel, and helps flush away residues and food debris from your mouth. To produce enough saliva to keep your teeth happy and healthy, you’ll need to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Drinking water is also a great way to help wash away plaque and food debris, and it doesn’t contain any sugars that can feed harmful oral bacteria.

Enjoy Your Fruits and Veggies

Crisp, snappy, crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, celery, and the like can work as a natural toothbrush. This is because they are firm enough to wipe away plaque and food debris without being rigid enough to harm your enamel. Once you get used to eating them, they take on a delightfully sweet flavor that many people prefer over refined sugar. The next time you enjoy your candy, munch on some of these natural delights to help keep your teeth free of infection.

Practice Excellent Oral Hygiene

A crucial part of preventing tooth decay and gum disease is sticking to a proper dental hygiene routine that includes:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to eliminate plaque and food residue from the surfaces of your teeth.
  • Flossing to clear food debris and nasty bacteria from the spaces between teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach.
  • Using antibacterial mouthwash to kill more than 99% of the harmful germs in your mouth and make your breath smell fresh and minty.

It’s also necessary to see your dentist at least twice a year for exams and cleanings. Don’t let your sweet tooth cause any harm to the rest of your grin. By taking the proper precautions, you can enjoy sweet treats in moderation while showing off a beautiful smile.

About the Author

Dr. Richard Thomas earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from Case Western Reserve University before completing a one-year residency program in advanced dental treatments for medically compromised and elderly patients at the Geisinger Medical Center. He has also completed postgraduate training in complete dental reconstruction at Ohio State University. His office in Toledo, OH offers general, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. To schedule an appointment, contact his office online or dial (419) 539-2168.

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