Gobbling Your Way to Dental Erosion
Did someone say November? Bring on all of the Thanksgiving goods! This is the time to gobble up everything that looks tasty, but along with delicious food and drink comes a silent killer to the outer layer of your teeth. Acids! Acids from food and drink can cause dental erosion. Many of the holiday foods and drinks that we love soften and wear down our teeth because they are acidic and sugary. Complications like sensitivity and increased risk for cavities can result from dental erosion. Although the acids that cause tooth erosion pose a threat to your oral health, you can take steps to prevent serious damage and still enjoy the best meal of the year.
Selective Snacking Over The Holidays
It’s tempting to eat snacks and drink beverages throughout the day during the holiday season, especially tasty treats that are left out on a table. You don’t necessarily need to quit snacking all together, but be selective about when you choose to snack and for how long you snack. For example, snacking and drinking beverages over a 10-minute period of time is much better for your mouth than a 3-hour period of time. The reason is simple. Each time you eat, the pH level in your mouth changes, which makes your mouth a pretty acidic environment. Everything returns to normal after about 30 minutes of time. That said, if you are constantly munching, then your teeth are also constantly dealing with acids. Steady snacking is a one-way ticket to dental erosion.
Keep Water Handy and Brush Later
Yes! Water can help combat dental erosion. Is there anything that water can’t do? It’s a superb defense against acid erosion in a variety of ways. Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water ensures that enough saliva resides in your mouth. Saliva helps keep the pH level in your mouth balanced. Additionally, water helps clear away debris and bacteria that bother the outer layer of your teeth. After eating, it’s a good idea to rinse with water and wait to brush because your teeth are in a softer and weaker condition. Immediate brushing can be harmful to the enamel. After about thirty minutes, your teeth have had a chance to return to a more neutral state, and it’s safe to brush those teeth. Dental erosion beware! Water is on the job.
A food that is excellent for your teeth is cheese. Yes, that’s right. Cheese gets 10/10 stars both in taste and in oral health benefits. Cheese helps neutralize the acids in your mouth and increases saliva production. Your teeth get an extra boost of protection against dental erosion with cheese, which is just one of the many, many reasons why we love cheese. This Thanksgiving, eat up that cheese guilt-free.
A Pocket Full of Sugar-Free Gum
You have our permission to keep your pockets full of sugar-free gum this holiday season. Sugar-free gum helps increase saliva production, and we already discussed how important saliva is to combating dental erosion. Gum will make you less likely to snack since you already have something tasty in your mouth. Our only disclaimer with gum is to double-check that the pack you buy is sugar-free. Gums with sugars are a nightmare for your teeth because they produce acids that will easily turn your teeth into a Thanksgiving feast. Otherwise, trot fearlessly into the holiday season with your favorite pack of sugar-free gum.
Are you experiencing any sensitivity or discomfort in the mouth? Give us a call before your holidays begin. There’s nothing worse than having a bad toothache on a holiday that’s meant to be enjoyed.