The holiday season with all of its candy, family dinners, and abundance of sweets can equal big trouble for pearly whites, and not just for children. We know plenty of adults who like to indulge, and let’s be honest, the holidays are a difficult time for anyone to resist. And while all that food certainly doesn’t help the waistline, it can be damaging to teeth and dental health as well.
By now, you’ve likely received the message that sugary indulgences like candy or soda can erode enamel and lead to cavities. However, few realize that it isn’t actually the sugar, but rather the way it interacts with the bacteria already in your mouth that can be problematic. Afterall, sugar can be found in many sources we consider healthy, including fruits and starches. Our mouths always have a level of bacteria present. We can typically keep this in check with good oral hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing. For those with a sweet tooth, however, this upkeep is particularly important, as sugar feeds this bacteria, allowing it to multiply and ultimately lead to dental problems such as enamel erosion.
Sweets to Avoid
Regular dental cleanings and a strong daily dental hygiene routine will garner better results than avoiding candy altogether. That being said, there are still some sweets which may prove more harmful to teeth than others. For instance, sticky varieties such as caramels linger on teeth and are more difficult to fully remove. The longer they remain, the more bacteria thrives, creating acid which can eat away at the surface of teeth. Additionally, although not a candy, soda is a ‘treat’ we always recommend patients steer clear off. Not only can the syrupy drink stain your teeth, some studies have suggested that it can be as corrosive as battery fluid!
After a long night of trick-or-treating, most parents reward themselves with a ‘candy tax’ from the plastic pumpkins. Likewise, a great Thanksgiving or Christmas meal isn’t complete without the pie. We certainly aren’t asking you to give up these holiday perks. Just do your dentist a favor by avoiding the sticky candies and soda and brushing after you indulge. You’ll thank us later. We promise.
If you are in the Thibodaux area, contact the office of Dr. Sheard Ber and request your next dental exam and cleaning. In addition to regular brushing and flossing, patients should visit their dentist twice a year in order to stay on top of dental health. We’ll keep your teeth and gums in tip top shape, no matter how many treats you enjoy this holiday season! Simply click here, or call us directly at (985) 446-5031 to request your next appointment.