As Halloween approaches, you’re likely to have more candy than usual lying around the house. An increase in consumption of sugary substances can wreak havoc on your smile. So, today, our Elmhurst dentists are giving you some simple tips on how to protect your smile this fall!
The first thing to keep in mind is that it is always in your smile’s best interest to limit the amount of sugary and refined-carbohydrate-rich foods and drinks that you consume. The fewer of these substances that you ingest, the less that oral bacteria will be able to use these sugars to grow and multiply.
If you are going to be indulge in some sweet treats, try to drink plenty of water, so that you stay hydrated throughout the day. When you drink water, you empower your body to produce saliva: a natural substance that neutralizes bacteria and re-mineralizes dental enamel. Dry mouth + harmful bacteria is a recipe for disaster (and bad breath).
It also makes a difference when you enjoy a piece of candy. If, for example, you eat a piece of candy right after eating a meal, your body will have already flooded your mouth with saliva as you ate. This means that it is easier for your saliva to neutralize the harmful effects of refined sugars.
In the same vein, you want to try to enjoy sweet treats in discrete sittings, rather than snacking constantly throughout the day. Bacteria actively feed on sugars for about 20 to 30 minutes after they are exposed to them. So, if you eat candy constantly, you’re allowing harmful bacteria to stay active in your mouth all day. Limit the times in which you eat candy to keep bacteria production in check.
Finally, as always, follow all of your dentist’s recommendation for your daily oral hygiene routine, and see your dental team for semi-annual professional cleanings. And give us a call if you have more questions about how candy affects your smile; our Elmhurst dentists are here to help!