You may not crave it all the time, but devouring sweets can cause quite a few problems for your teeth. You might start your day with syrup-drenched waffles, you may treat yourself to a mid-afternoon iced coffee, or a few scoops of your favorite ice cream might comfort you at the end of a stressful day. Luckily, there are ways to prevent cavities, regardless of how often you feed your sweet tooth. Read on to learn 3 simple ways you can protect your teeth throughout the day.
The American Dental Association recommends that you floss at least once a day, but most dentists suggest flossing at least twice each day. The longer leftover particles from sugary treats stay wedged between your teeth, the better chance they have to feed cavity-causing bacteria and allow it to wear away at your enamel. Studies show that the decay process can begin within 30 seconds of exposure to acids produced by bacteria. Flossing regularly, especially after eating sweets will help minimize your risk of enamel erosion and cavities.
Chew Xylitol-Sweetened Gum
Instead of giving in to your craving for sweets, try chewing on a piece of xylitol-sweetened gum. Xylitol is a sugar-free, aspartame-free sweetener that helps minimize the growth of bacteria on teeth. Studies show that chewing xylitol-sweetened gum reduced cavity-causing bacteria by 27 to 75 percent. In addition to hindering the production of acid from bacteria, chewing increases the production of saliva, which helps to wash away any sugar that may still be on your teeth.
Use Fluoride-Rich Dental Products
When bacteria on your teeth break down sugars from the foods you eat, they produce acids that wear away your enamel. Fluoride replenishes and rebuilds weakened enamel, reverses early signs of tooth decay and inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. Using fluoride toothpaste, rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash or taking fluoride supplements are excellent ways to help protect your teeth from sugary foods.
Even when you know how damaging it can be for your teeth, it is very difficult to avoid sugar when you have a sweet tooth. The good news is that following these tips will help reduce the risk of tooth decay at bay and keep your teeth healthy and beautiful.
About the Practice
At Flenniken Family Dentistry, Drs. Neil Flenniken and Suzan Rismani-Flenniken and their team of knowledgeable dentists are dedicated to helping the citizens of Carlisle achieve the beautiful smiles they deserve. Flenniken Family Dentistry offers a wide range of dental treatments. Services include preventive treatments like dental cleanings and exams, restorative treatments like dental implants and more. If you believe your sweet tooth is damaging your teeth, contact the office at (717) 249-7777 or visit the website to schedule your dental appointment today.