Posted on 11/26/2019 by Crossroads Family Dentistry
Candy, cakes, and cookies taste delicious, but they're certainly not on anyone's list of 'good for you' foods. Most people assume that its sugar that causes the treats to make this list, but in reality, it's plaque that's responsible. Sugar does increase cavity risks because it lowers the mouth's Ph balance, but it's when the sugar sits on the teeth that trouble starts. Even non-sweet food may pose the same danger to the teeth, including some fruits and pasta.
It is dental plaque that forms on the teeth after eating sweets that cause cavities. Plaque forms on the teeth almost immediately after we eat. Remove the plaque, and there isn't a problem. But, if it isn't removed, it sits on the teeth and leads to cavities and a myriad of additional oral health concerns. Since most of us enjoy eating sweets, this is actually good news. We can eat the sweets that we love now and again if we're smart about how we indulge. Keep dental plaque off the teeth after eating sweets and follow a few other rules if you want to indulge in sweets without risking your teeth's good health.
First, moderation is key. Overindulging in anything is bad, especially when it may contribute to so many oral health risks. Second, brush your teeth and maintain proper oral hygiene. Brush your teeth after indulging in sugary treats. A few more tips that make it possible to enjoy sugary sweets without destroying your teeth:
● Some snacks are worse than others. Choose your sweets wisely and reduce cavity risk. Sticky candy is one of the worst sweets because they add acids that harm the teeth. Indulge in treats wisely.
● Limit the amount of sugar that you consume. Do not snack on your treat all day long, either.
● Carry a travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste in your bag or purse. Brush your teeth after lunch or at other times after eating when you aren't at home.
● Chew sugar-free gum after eating sugar. It reduces saliva production and may ward off harmful bacteria.
● Avoid eating or drinking sugary sweets before bedtime. Eating sweets before bedtime allows plaque to sit on the teeth for a prolonged period. Don't drink sugary beverages between meals since they're acidic and may cause tooth decay. Drink water instead.
● Choose snacks and treats that contain xylitol instead of sugar. This natural non-nutritive sweetener can actually aid in the fight against cavities.
● After snacking, swish your mouth with water. Brush your teeth after about 30 minutes.
● A test known as the CariScreen Caries Susceptibility Test determines a person's risk for cavities. The test uses the bacteria formed on the teeth to determine your risk for cavities.
Clean your teeth after eating sweets to remove acid-forming bacteria that may lead to cavities. The information above is also helpful for anyone that wants to protect their teeth without giving up the sweets they enjoy eating.