Eating sweets and maintaining healthy teeth can be a tricky balance.
While it’s always tempting to indulge in sugary treats in our Mt. Vernon area, too much sugar can lead to tooth decay and other oral health problems.
With a few simple strategies, you can enjoy your favorite Virginia treats and still maintain healthy teeth.
The key to preventing tooth decay in Virginia is to limit the amount of time your teeth are exposed to sugar. When you eat sweets, the sugar combines with the bacteria in your mouth to form an acid that can erode your tooth enamel. This acid attack can last for up to 20 minutes after you finish eating. The more frequently you consume sweets, the more time your teeth are exposed to this acid.
Eating sweets at bedtime can lengthen the amount of time sugary acid can impact your teeth. For this reason, we recommend you avoid eating sweets in bed. Make sure to brush before you hit the sack to ensure your mouth is clear of bacteria-feeding sugars that can contribute to tooth decay and other oral problems.
To minimize the impact of sugar on your teeth, it’s best to eat sweets as part of a meal rather than as a snack on its own. When you eat with a meal, your mouth produces more saliva, which can help neutralize harmful acid and rinse away food particles. Eating sweets with a meal also limits the amount of time your teeth are exposed to sugar, and hopefully reduces the amount of sugar you need to be satisfied.
Another strategy for maintaining healthy teeth while eating sweets is to choose sweets that are less harmful to your teeth. Sticky, chewy candies and sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time, like lollipops, are the worst offenders when it comes to tooth decay. Sweets that dissolve quickly are a better choice, as they spend less time in your mouth.
If you do indulge in sweets, it’s important to brush and floss your teeth afterwards. This will help remove any food particles and plaque that may have accumulated on your teeth. If you’re unable to brush and floss after eating sweets, try rinsing your mouth with mouthwash or water, or chewing sugar-free gum to help increase saliva flow.
Regular dental checkups at Mt. Vernon Center For Dentistry is another important strategy for maintaining healthy teeth. Mt. Vernon Center For Dentistry can identify and treat any oral health issues before they become more serious problems. We can also provide guidance on how to maintain good oral hygiene and make recommendations on the best foods to eat for healthy teeth.
Enjoying sweets doesn’t have to mean sacrificing healthy teeth. By limiting your sugar intake, choosing sweets that are less harmful to your teeth, brushing and flossing regularly, and visiting your friendly dentist at Mt. Vernon Center For Dentistry for regular checkups, you can indulge in your favorite Virginia treats and still maintain a healthy smile.