Despite our best efforts, it sometimes feel especially difficult to say, “no” to that cookie or cupcake. We get it! If you aren’t able to cut sugary from your diet entirely, then we encourage you to indulge in them responsibly by following some of the tips our Saint Louis dentists have laid out below…
A quick, easy, and effective habit to get into is rinsing your mouth vigorously with water or mouth rinse right after eating something sweet. Not only does this help to clear away any food particles that may be stuck between your teeth, but it also prompts your body to produce saliva. Saliva further neutralizes bacteria and supports enamel re-mineralization.
Don’t Brush Right Away
While it can be helpful to rinse your smile after snacks and meals, you want to wait at least 20 to 30 minutes to brush your teeth in these same situations. Your enamel becomes temporarily softer than usual after it is exposed to acidic substances and bacteria. By waiting to brush your teeth you minimize your risk of brushing away healthy enamel while your teeth are in this more vulnerable state.
Snack & Sip In One Sitting
Keeping in mind what we just discussed, that your dental enamel can be softer than normal after eating or drinking, it is actually better for your dental health if you indulge in sweet treats in one sitting, rather than continuously throughout the day. Doing so limits the amount of time that your enamel is at risk, and it minimizes the number of hours in the day that oral bacteria is able to active and feeding on sugars in your mouth.
Explore Sugar Substitutes
There are many gums, candies, and mints on the market today that utilize Xylitol, rather than sugar, to achieve that sweet taste. Xylitol has been shown to be better for oral health because it is not as nutrient-rich as sugar is for oral bacteria. So, check the label the next time you are out shopping, and, when possible, reach for sugar-free products.
We hope that you now have some good ideas regarding how you can enjoy your favorite sweets and protect your smile as well. If you have any questions, or you want to learn more about caring for your smile at home, please don’t hesitate to call our Saint Louis dentists!
Legal Notice: Our success is built on long term relationships with our patients through genuine caring and unrivaled excellence in value, comfort, service and the relentless quest of improvement. However, nothing stated herein should be construed as a claim of secret, superior or exclusive techniques, ability or equipment. All are well documented in the literature and training is widely available to any dentist who cares to pursue these goals. Our doctors are General Dentists. Cosmetic, Implant and Sedation Dentistry and Dental Sleep Medicine are non-specialty interest areas not recognized by the ADA that require no specific educational training to advertise these services. Dr. Daniel Bialecki, Dr. Jillian Bruch, and Dr. Timothy Grayem currently provide sedation services in our practice.