It’s festival season and all of us share our love and care through gifts and treats. But did you know that if you don’t follow certain oral health practices the gifts and treats in the form of sweets can end up as the reason for compromised oral health of you and your loved ones?
Are sweets really bad for oral health?
They are not! you can have or share as much sweets as you want if you are aware of the situation when they can become harmful for your teeth.
In general sweets are not harmful for teeth. But some other factors like time, frequency and microorganisms in your oral cavity can convert the sweets you eat into harmful acids which can dissolve your teeth bit by bit.
But if you care about your oral health and you have some knowledge on good oral hygiene practices you can have as much sweets as you want without worrying about going to a dentist with tremendous pain one month after the festival.
Don’t let sugar stay on the tooth surface for more than 10-20 minutes.
When you consume that delicious sweet and walk around chewing the soft, sticky sugar bundle, the microorganisms (like bacteria) which are normally present in oral cavity will also start enjoying the tiny chunks of sweet you eat.
The byproduct of the process of bacteria enjoying the chunks of festival sweets is a type of acid which can dissolve your teeth (This process is called demineralisation) and help bacteria to enter the tooth from tooth surface (enamel) into the nerve, this is what we call tooth-decay in general.
But thanks to the amazing mechanisms of human body, our body secretes saliva which can reduce or completely remove these harmful factors form tooth surface and remineralise tooth structure.
There’s a tug of war going on between the acids and saliva inside our oral cavity. But the process of remineralization has its own limitations. If your consumption of sugar is more frequent, the remineralisation process cannot compensate for the demineralisation caused by the acids and thus bacteria overrule our oral cavity’s protection mechanism and destroy tooth structure.
What we can do to help our oral cavity in this fight against acids is;
- Follow a balanced diet. Reduce overall consumption of sugar and acidic beverages.
- Immediate and thorough cleaning of tooth surfaces using toothbrush and toothpaste right after that box of chocolates and sweets.
- Reducing the frequency of sugar consumption. Try to avoid the long time presence of sugar in oral cavity. If you cannot resist the urge, try to have sweets with breaks in between. Enjoy that sweet at meal times instead of consuming it continuously throughout the day.
Now you know how to enjoy the festival without sacrificing your oral health. Remember, practice makes perfect and these oral hygiene practices surely will save you a lot of time, money and pain.
If you found this helpful, share this information with your friends and family and have a healthy festival.