' Four Tips to Enjoy Eating Sweets this Holiday, While Reducing the Risk of Tooth Decay

Holiday Tips from Los Angeles Dentist

Four Tips to Enjoy Eating Sweets this Holiday, While Reducing the Risk of Tooth Decay

Many people have certain sweet traditional foods that they eat during the holidays. But too much sweet foods can do more than make you put on the pounds. You may also cause tooth decay if you primarily eat sweets and don’t routinely thoroughly clean your mouth.

Routinely eating sweet foods can cause periodontal disease, tooth decay and, in extreme cases, tooth loss. This mouth disease is because sugar consumption causes plaque to build up on your teeth. The plaque remains a sticky bacterial film that builds up in the mouth and on the gums. When plaque-forming bacteria come in contact with the chemicals in your mouth, an acid is produced that causes damage to the teeth. This chemical reaction occurs for about 20 minutes every time you eat and causes tooth decay and other oral health problems if not taken care of by brushing and cleaning your mouth.

While all sweet foods create a hotbed of acid to decay your teeth, the sticky foods cause much more problem than do other types of sweet foods. Sticky foods like gummy bears and fruitcakes are harder to get off your teeth and are especially hard to get out from between the teeth. Foods that stay in your mouth for a long time, like cough drops and breath mints, can also cause decay. Plus, eating sweet foods many times per day can work to keep your teeth candy-coated in decay forming acid.

If you want to reduce your tooth decay risks and still eat a limited amount of sugary foods, you should:

  • Eat your sugary foods with meals. The saliva produced in the mouth while eating a meal neutralizes acid production and decreases the number of cavities that can form in your mouth.
  • Don’t eat between meals. Or if you do eat sugary snacks between meals, chew some sugar-free gum to increase the amount of saliva in your mouth and get rid of the acid that may be forming there. If you eat dessert or a candy cane in between meals, be sure to brush your teeth as soon as you can to prevent tooth decay.
  • Be sure to brush your teeth at least two times per day to eliminate decay-forming acid in your mouth. Also, be sure to floss a minimum of least once per day to keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong.
  • Drink plenty of water. If the water in your neighborhood includes fluoride, the fluoride will also protect your teeth. Or choose bottled water that contains fluoride.
  • Be sure to visit your dentist routinely even through the holidays.
  • Limit the amount of sugar you consume to one time per day. Have your Christmas cookies for dessert after a meal. Be conscious of what you eat and when you eat it. Regularly eating sugary foods keeps a continued level of acid forming in your mouth and sets up the perfect environment for cavities to develop in the mouth.

You can eat some of your favorite sweet treats during the holidays. Just be sure to eat them wisely. And don’t forget to continue on the good oral health practices you use daily. In this way, you’ll be able to enjoy your holiday treats and keep your mouth healthy, too. For continued suggestions on keeping your mouth healthy and preventing dental disease, set up a time for a checkup with us today. Our friendly office staff will help you keep the oral health you deserve, so call us to optimize your dental health insurance before the end of the year.

And finally remember to get the most out of your dental insurance before the year end.

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