Nothing says spring has sprung like chocolate eggs, brightly colored jellybeans, and chewy macaroons, but these sweet holiday treats could mean summertime blues for your pearly whites if you aren’t careful. The best way to avoid cavities is to practice good oral hygiene and limit sugary treats. Here’s a basketful of wisdom for your mouth.
1. Choose your chocolate
If given a choice, it’s best to go with dark chocolate, which is packed with flavonoids and compounds that help protect your heart. Milk chocolate and white chocolate Easter bunnies are loaded with sugar and offer no health benefits.
2. Avoid sticky stuff
Beware of chewy treats like Peeps, jellybeans, toffee and caramels. The sweet goo holds acid against teeth longer, which can damage the enamel and cause decay.
3. Eat your veggies
Offer fruits and vegetables as snack alternatives. Apples, pears, melons, celery and cucumbers are best because they contain a high volume of water. Limit banana and raisin consumption, as they contain concentrated sugars.
4. Curb your snacking
When it comes to your teeth, the frequency of eating is far more dangerous than the quantity consumed. Frequent snacking without brushing immediately afterwards provides constant fuel for bacteria, which leads to plaque and cavities.
5. Cut the cheese
Cheddar, Gouda, Swiss and other aged cheeses help trigger the flow of saliva, which in turn helps wash food particles away from teeth. So go ahead and enjoy a slice!
6. Rinse your mouth
After you gobble down that Passover macaroon, swish your mouth thoroughly with water to help wash away cavity-causing food particles until you’re reunited with your toothbrush.
7. Brush and floss
Make brushing and flossing key components of your daily routine. Dentists recommend brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once. Consider adding extra sessions after consuming sweets and sugary beverages.
8. Chew gum
Chewing sugar-free gum washes away food bits and helps neutralize acids in your mouth. It can also satisfy your sweet tooth so you don’t overindulge in other desserts.
9. Give good gear
Include tooth-friendly items like manual or electric toothbrushes, toothbrush covers, floss, toothpaste, and sugar-free gum in your Easter baskets and plastic eggs.
10. Sip water
Juices and soft drinks contain loads of sugar, so choose water instead. Water helps wash away lingering food particles, increases your energy and relieves fatigue. So drink up!
If spring treats manage to get the best of your teeth or it’s been more than six months since your last cleaning, make an appointment with your dentist today.