You’ve always had a sweet tooth – even as a toddler, your mom had to hide the cookie jar when you were looking for a snack. Now, as a professional pastry chef at one of the top restaurants in Houston, you put your tastes to work every day. But, you think your love of desserts may be catching up with you when you look in the mirror and see a small dark spot on one of your back teeth. You need a qualified, professional dentist in Spring, TX who can treat your cavity and teach you some new tips to cut out the sugar, so you can keep your smile healthy and beautiful. Dr. Kelly LeBlanc is the dentist you need, and he weighs in with helpful hints in this article.
Why Are Sweets Bad For Teeth?
With how much your taste buds enjoys it, it seems unfair that sugar is a huge contributor to tooth decay and enamel damage. Dr. LeBlanc explains the relationship and process below.
- Carbohydrates, including sugar, start to break down immediately in the mouth, unlike foods that contain protein and fats which break down at later stages in your digestive system.
- The bacteria in your mouth produce an acid that combines with saliva – this happens naturally since the acid is what helps to break down and digest the carbs and sugar. The acid bath from sugary foods and beverages can compromise enamel.
- Plaque builds up constantly after eating and causes tooth decay – after every meal and snack your teeth face the acid formation and plaque attack. This includes beverage snacks like sodas and juices.
- If not brushed and flossed away in a timely manner, plaque can wreak havoc on your smile – leading to cavities, gum disease, the need for root canals, and even tooth loss.
- Saliva is crucial because does the job of remineralizing teeth and making them stronger by ridding the mouth of the acid formed from eating sugary foods.
What Can I Do To Protect My Smile?
There are many things you can do to care for your oral health. Our practice offers the following suggestions:
- Cut Down on Sweets – If it isn’t obvious already, reducing the amount of sugar and carbs you eat and drink will make your mouth healthier. Switch to veggies, foods that are high in protein, and dairy – cheese is especially good at undoing some of the damage sugar does.
- Limit Snacking – It’s not only what you eat, it’s how you eat. Saliva can’t do its job to remineralize your teeth if you’re constantly introducing new foods/drinks to your mouth, so cut down on snacks – and remember that snacking includes beverages that aren’t water.
- Chew Gum with Xylitol – To get over the snacking hump, try chewing sugarless gum that has xylitol in it. This sweetener not only tastes good, but is antibacterial, too. If you can’t brush immediately after you eat, this type of gum can help.
- Try Stevia – Most artificial sweeteners cause a lot of problems for your mouth, since they’re naturally acidic. Stevia, however, has been shown to be alkaline so this is a good option for making your foods taste sweet.
- Brush and Floss – Not only will brushing gently for two minutes and flossing help to remove troublesome plaque, the fluoride in your toothpaste will strengthen and reinforce your enamel.
- See Your Dentist – No matter how much you brush and floss, you’ll still need professional oral healthcare to keep your teeth healthy.
You and your smile are sweet enough already – let’s keep it that way by scheduling your appointment with Dr. Kelly Leblanc, your preferred dentist in Spring, TX.