Have you enjoyed any sweets this holiday season? You don’t need to feel guilty; good hygiene practices give us a little leeway. But with so many cookies and candies available this time of year, it is easy to let tooth decay gain a hold, which is why we at All Coast Dental in Pacific Beach want to ensure our patients are able to recognize what is risky to their teeth and take steps to keep them safe.
Tooth decay results from bacteria eating food particles that are caught on the teeth and producing acid. Bacteria can metabolize simple sugar more rapidly, so leaving sugar on the teeth for a long period allows them to produce a lot of acid. Hard candies such as candy canes are one of the worst things for the teeth because of this and because they dry the mouth out, depriving it of saliva that could be used to wash away sugar. Slowly sipping sugary drinks such as egg nog, hot chocolate, and alcohol also keeps the teeth continuously coated in sugar.
Regular flossing and brushing is the best defense against tooth decay, and we recommend taking floss everywhere. But sometimes it’s hard to slip away when socializing demands that you snack for a long period. In those cases, you can try chewing sugar-free gum, which will dislodge small morsels and get your saliva flowing. You can also alternate between sugary drinks and water to give your teeth a rinse.
Drs. Julie and Joseph Boulos operate All Coast Dental at 2180 Garnet Ave, Suite 1-K, Pacific Beach, California, 92109. To schedule an appointment, call 858-270-4904 or visit All Coast Dental and fill out a contact sheet.