Are you having visions of sugarplums dancing in your head? If so, you are not alone. This time of year, it’s hard NOT to look forward to all the sugary treats surrounding us everywhere we go. And it is a pickle because your brain is actually wired to react to sugary and fatty foods as rewards. So, you are literally wired to indulge in these tempting goodies. And since we’ve gone as a society from eating three balanced meals a day to snacking whenever we want to, our teeth are paying the price.
You see, eating anything stimulates the oral bacteria in the mouth to react by releasing acids that can erode precious enamel. Not only that, but the particularly harmful bacteria in the mouth responds most to sugar. This serious attack of acids can soften tooth enamel and demineralize it. When tooth enamel is weakened, it is more susceptible to cavities.
Luckily, your saliva is working on your behalf, as it remineralizes tooth enamel by bathing it in calcium and phosphorous. Because of this effect, you should wait 20-30 minutes after eating sweet foods (and beverages) before you brush your teeth to remove oral debris. This gives your saliva the time it needs to dilute oral acids and remineralize the enamel. To stimulate your saliva production, you can chew sugar-free gum after eating sweets and before you brush.
This holiday season, be wise when enjoying sugary treats. KidsKare P.C. is pleased to help you maintain your smile throughout the year. If you would like to schedule a visit with one of our dedicated dentists, please call 575-532-5437 today to find a location nearest you!