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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…

Start Rinsing

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

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Dr. Barry Brace and Dr. Tim Grayem - Kirkwood, MO

"[Grayem, Brace, and Associates] is the kindest, most comforting and compassionate dental office I have ever encountered. I will never fear the dentist again!" - Adela M.

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