How Do Sweets Affect Your Oral Health?
With the holiday season upon us (especially Halloween), we find ourselves consuming extra treats (and candy) that we usually wouldn't eat. Your dentist in Lafayette wants to share some tips for protecting your family's oral health so you can have a safe and happy Halloween.
How Does Sugar Affect Your Oral Health?
To understand how to protect your oral health, you first must understand how sugar impacts your teeth. Believe it or not, it's not actually sugar that causes tooth decay so much as it is the chain reaction that sugar starts.
When you eat, a sticky white biofilm called plaque forms on your teeth. The bacteria that live inside plaque use sugar as their fuel, and then they produce a byproduct called acid. It is acid that eats away your tooth enamel and causes cavities.
Tips for Reducing the Damage Sugar Causes
So you're not going to keep candy entirely away from your children during Halloween, and that's okay. There are a few measures you can take to reduce the damage to their teeth that sugar causes.
- Don't let them snack on candy. Instead, eat it after meals since your mouth produces the most saliva at this time. Saliva works to wash away excess food debris and particles and neutralizes acids in your mouth.
- Choose candy carefully. Avoid sticky, acidic (sour), and hard candies, which can cause more damage to your teeth. Choose chocolate, especially dark chocolate because it has less sugar than milk chocolate.
- Consider donating candy. Many dentists offer candy take-back programs, and there are groups that send candy overseas to the troops.
- Don't skip your home care routine. Be sure to be diligent about having your family brush and floss their teeth, even after late nights of trick-or-treating.
Dental Cleanings & Exams in Lafayette
Be sure to visit your dentist during the holidays if it's time for your next cleaning and checkup. Contact our Lafayette dental office today to schedule your next appointment.