It’s the start of a brand new year and it’s time for the patients who overindulged in sweets to start coming in with toothaches! We often see people in the new year whose teeth are aching after over-consumption of desserts and suffering from more bacteria-feeding sugar than is normal in their diet.
Your teeth, though, may recover much faster than your waistline. Just be sure to brush 20 to 40 minutes after consuming sugar and you’re likely to pass through the holidays without ongoing dental damage.
So how do the holiday foods affect your teeth? Simple! When sugars and starches come into contact with the plaque on your teeth, the acids can attack teeth for 20 minutes or more after you finish eating. This isn’t enough to cause damage on its own, but repeated incidences cause the hard enamel surface of the teeth to begin to break down. That breakdown is what leads to tooth decay.
Even worse, these plaques produce substances toxic to the gums and bones supported each of your teeth. This is where real hard-to-reverse damage can occur.
While avoiding sugary foods is one route to oral care, another is to brush shortly after eating. When that isn’t possible, chewing sugar-free gum or drinking water can also help.
And by all means, do plan to see your dentist during these winter months to get off on the right foot in the new year!