It’s a great time of year––the holidays are coming up, everything’s getting more festive, and the food is delicious! Those are all great things, but it is important to always take your health into consideration, while still enjoying yourself.
October is a month notorious for its sweet treats; candy, caramel apples, and goodies galore! Even enjoying these treats in moderation can have a significant impact on your dental health. We all know that sugar is bad for our teeth, but why exactly? This blog will delve more significantly into this topic and clarify the ways in which our habits affect all aspects of our health.
Sugar and Tooth Decay
Plaque bacteria rest on and in between your teeth, and if given the proper fuel, will wreak havoc on your teeth’s enamel. Sugar plays a significant role in that this carbohydrate acts as a food source and a form of energy for these unwanted habitants. When well-fed, plaque bacteria will multiply faster and glue itself to your teeth, which makes it harder for your body to naturally get rid of it.
Constantly at Battle
Teeth enamel is one of the hardest substances in the body. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s not susceptible to damage. Plaque bacteria are small but mighty, and they produce acids that wear away at your tooth enamel and cause decay and cavities. Your saliva acts as a natural protectant for your teeth, and strengthens your teeth’s defenses through a process called remineralization––it returns minerals such as calcium and phosphates to your teeth and even washes away some of the bacteria. However, eating an excessive amount of sugar turns this into a losing battle and leaves your teeth at risk.
How to Prevent Tooth Decay
We are all at risk for tooth decay, as we all have some level of plaque bacteria in our mouths. However, children are more at risk than adults. Halloween and its association with excessive candy consumption leaves our children especially vulnerable to tooth decay and other dental issues.
- Making regular trips to the dentist will not only ensure that your teeth are kept healthy and clean, but it will allow any dental issues, especially in their beginning stages, to be effectively treated and taken care of.
- Brush, brush, brush your teeth! And floss! These routine tasks are a major factor in promoting you and your family’s dental and overall health. Doing these in conjunction will help to remove a large portion of the plaque that rest on your teeth and leave them susceptible to decay.
- Watch out for hidden sugars––beverages such as orange juice have high amounts of sugar that can harm teeth. Many processed food have more sugar than we think!
- The sticker the candy, the worse for your teeth! As delicious as they are, butterscotches and caramels remain on the teeth and act as a fuel for dental plaque.
- Rinse your mouth with water after eating to flush away some of the residual food or bacteria.
Join us on the mission to promote better dental health! Make sure that your family is practicing good habits when it comes to dental hygiene and that you are aware of what you are consuming. It’s ok to enjoy treats in moderation, but be sure to clean your mouth properly and to schedule an appointment at Children’s Dentistry of San Diego today to ensure that your smile will shine brighter than any jack-o-lantern!