Help Counteract the Damage Holiday Sweets do to Your Teeth

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Toffee, fudge, peanut brittle, sugar cookies, oh my! The holidays are deliciously tough on your waistline but also your teeth! Our favorite treats and tempting goodies all contain sugar which can lead to cavities. That’s because when you eat cookies and candy, bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugar and create acids as a by-product. These acids wear down your tooth enamel, making it weak. This is when cavities can form. A cavity is a little hole in your tooth. 

What You Can Do To Counteract Sugar

Although sugar is a treat for a reason (and should be eaten sparingly) many of us indulge more than we should. To counteract its effects, eat a variety of other foods including fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

When you do grab a sweet, skip the sticky ones like caramel and hard candy. Choose options like dark chocolate that aren’t as likely to get stuck to and in-between your teeth.

If you’re snacking on the go and can’t immediately brush, drink plenty of water to help wash away food particles and bacteria.

Develop Good Brushing Habits

Did you know you’re supposed to brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day, with a fluoride toothpaste? Think you already are? According to the American Dental Association (ADA), most of us spend as little as 45 seconds on our teeth. That doesn’t mean to brush harder, just longer to get every tooth.

Proper brushing technique is key. The ADA suggests to brush at a 45-degree angle in a gentle, short (tooth-wide) strokes. And don’t forget to floss daily!
Also, change your toothbrush every three to four months. Frayed and broken bristles won’t keep your teeth clean! Make sure your new brush has soft bristles, your gums will thank you.

See Your Dentist Regularly

Bi-annual visits to your dentist are really important. Not only do your teeth get expertly cleaned, removing all your plaque and tarter, but your dentist will check for cavities, gum disease and any other types of dental issues. Your dentist may even suggest a fluoride treatment to help strengthen your teeth.

It is important to catch any problems early because almost any dental problem is less expensive and less complex the sooner it’s addressed.

Regular dental visits mean you can also ask your dentist about some of the other services that can improve your smile like porcelain veneers, teeth whiteningone visit crownsdental implantsand Invisalign. Dr. Vacek can answer all your dental questions while keeping your teeth healthy. Give him a call today!

Dr. Craig Vacek