In our last post, we talked about the wonders of preventive dentistry. You know it’s cheaper and far less painful to brush, floss, and see your Quakertown, PA dentist for regular exams and cleanings than it is to let your teeth rot until you need to call Dream-Dentistry & Sleep Care for a root canal.
Today we want to make sure you aren’t hurting your teeth with unintentional bad habits. Small changes to your routines can yield huge results when it comes to preventing tooth decay. Read on for ways to keep your smile shining between cleanings.
Prevent Damage From Soft Drinks: Guzzle That Big Gulp!
Even if you’ve reduced your soft drink intake to one a day (good for you!), you may be surprised to find that sipping for hours on just one cola could do tremendous damage to your teeth:
- Soft drinks aren’t just full of sugar. Even “diet” varieties contain enamel-eroding acids.
- By savoring a beverage all day long, you don’t give your saliva time to combat demineralization. This important process is what fights the acids that are in your drink and on your teeth.
When you treat yourself to a soft drink, it’s better to enjoy it all in one go. If you’re at a place that serves refills, swap your last one for a glass of water. It’ll help to wash away the acids and sugar as well as keep you hydrated. And water is great for sipping.
Hock the Hard Candy
Hard candy is another case where how you consume something is more important than how much. Sucking on a mint for 15 minutes means you’re soaking your teeth in sugar for 15 minutes. That’s a banquet for bacteria.
Swap your after-dinner mint for a stick of sugar-free gum. You’ll reap the benefit of generating saliva, which is your body’s natural defense against cavities. Plus you can still count on the minty freshness to cover up your garlic breath.
If you’ve noticed that you’re always eating mints, you could have chronic halitosis. Call Dream-Dentistry & Sleep Care for a saliva test to be sure.
Make Sure Smoothies Aren’t Really Milkshakes
Ah, smoothies. The most delicious way to eat your veggies. So delicious, in fact, that some store-bought varieties have hundreds (yes, hundreds) of grams of sugar. You don’t have to guess what that does to your pearly whites!
An easy fix to the smoothie sugar bomb is to make them at home. Not only is this a more affordable option in the long run, but you also get complete control over the ingredients.
Enjoy your smoothie in one sitting – avoid brain freeze! – and be sure to use a straw.
Cut the Coffee Additives
We recommend that you stop drinking coffee immediately. Just kidding! This is a list of realistic suggestions. We do recommend you cut down on how much sugar you add to your coffee, though. Espresso is a great pick-me-up, but some of us like to cover its bitter taste with loads of whipped cream and yummy syrups. Ideally, you should switch to coffee without sugar, but if that’s not possible, ask the barista for fewer pumps of syrup.
For the sake of your chompers and your coworkers, give your teeth a good brushing about 30 minutes after your last cup. It will fight bacteria and bad breath.
Be Careful With Booze
Cocktails can be dangerous because it’s easy to drink several without realizing their alcohol content. They’re dangerous for your teeth because it’s easy to forget how much sugar is in them after you’ve had a few!
Wine can be tricky, too. Red wine is full of staining agents. On the other hand, white wine can be extremely acidic. Acid is what erodes your enamel, leaving it vulnerable to decay.
Limit the number of sugary drinks you enjoy on a night out, and be sure to consume one glass of water for every alcoholic drink. This will help prevent a hangover (we care about your comfort outside of the office!). Hangovers often come with dry mouth, which is murder on your teeth and gums. No saliva means nothing to wash away bacteria and acid.
Small Swaps Can Have a Big Impact
There’s no reason to deprive yourself of your favorite treats when all you need to do is make a few adjustments.
- Don’t sip on sugary drinks all day or night
- Ditch the hard candy
- Drink lots of water
Make these smart swaps and be sure to visit Dream-Dentistry & Sleep Care for your biannual exams. Call us today at 215-804-4777 to schedule your next cleaning.