It’s almost Halloween, so your Tukwila dentist at West Valley Dental wants to remind you about enjoying candy in moderation and offer other dental health tips so sugary treats don’t play tricks on your teeth.
The Real Threat Is Bacteria, Not Sugar!
Yes, sugar is bad for your teeth. But it’s not the sugar itself that does the damage.
It’s the bad oral bacteria that eat the sugar that truly threatens your smile.
When bacteria feed on debris in your mouth, it generates harmful acids that lead to decay, cavities, and gum disease.
So here are some ways you can protect yourself!
*Avoid Sticky Or Hard Candy*
While you don’t have to stay away from candy entirely, there are certain types of candy that are worse for your teeth than others.
Anything sticky or gooey will be hard to clean from your teeth, especially if it will be a while between brushing. Hard candy, like suckers, can nick your tooth enamel, or worse if you bite down on it. It can also linger too long in your mouth, giving bacteria more time to thrive.
*Use Your Teeth The Right Way*
We often remind our patients that teeth are designed for one purpose, and that’s to tear and chew food. Too often, we’ll use our teeth as tools, instead, usually out of convenience. You know you could get that stubborn wrapper or package opened if you just use your teeth to tear the paper.
But using teeth for things they aren’t built for is a dental emergency waiting to happen, and that’s not how you want to spend your time during Halloween or any other holiday.
*When You Can’t Brush, Rinse*
You don’t have to rush to the bathroom to brush your teeth every time you eat a piece of candy. That’s not practical, and actually, you could even harm your teeth by brushing too much or too soon after you eat.
What you can do, however, is simply rinse your mouth out with water. This will wash away food particles and sugary debris until you can brush your teeth again.
*Chew Sugarless Gum, Not Bubble Gum*
Rather than bubble gum, chew sugarless gum that contains xylitol, a sugar alcohol used as a sweetener that doesn’t appeal to harmful bacteria in your mouth, and in fact, actually fights against it while you chew!
*Eat A Healthy Meal First*
Just like they say you shouldn’t do your grocery shopping while you’re hungry, you may not want to reach for the candy bowl until you’ve first eaten a healthy meal. If you fill up first on nutritious, teeth-friendly foods, you’re less likely to overindulge on the sugary treats.
Call Now For An Appointment
Think you may have already suffered the consequences of eating all that seasonal candy?
Never fear! Your friends at West Valley Dental are here to provide thorough teeth cleanings and exams to make sure your oral health stays on track!