November 24, 2014
- Enjoy your treats as a part of a meal rather than eating them alone. Why? When you’re eating a meal, your mouth produces more saliva which helps to remove the food and neutralize the acids. Likewise, if you have frequent, sugary treats apart from a meal, those harmful acids are produced in your mouth continually and will affect your teeth up to 20 minutes after you’ve eaten them.
- Where possible, choose or prepare sugar-free treats. Xylitol, a naturally occurring carbohydrate, found in many sugar-free chewing gums, is a healthier alternative to sugar and also prevents tooth decay by inhibiting the growth of bacteria that cause cavities. Try this amazing chocolate peanut butter fudge recipe with xylitol. Enjoy!
- Wine and citrus beverages contain acid that literally eats away at your tooth enamel. When drinking them, sip through a straw and make sure to drink water often to rinse away the acid. Another tip? Do not brush your teeth immediately after consuming acidic beverages—rinse your mouth with water to prevent further damage to your enamel and then brush your teeth.
- Avoid or limit sticky foods like taffy, gummy bears, and even beware of healthy foods like raisins or dates. These foods take longer to chew and will stick to your teeth, causing acid to accumulate. When you do eat them, rinse your mouth with water and brush immediately.
- Chew sugar-free gum after you’ve indulged in sweet treats. As we mentioned earlier, sugar-free gum contains xylitol, which has been proven to reduce the amount of bacteria that causes tooth decay.
- Carry your toothbrush and toothpaste to parties and brush after you’ve eaten. Besides brushing away the bacteria, having a fresh, clean mouth is often a deterrent to further indulgence. Saving your teeth—and maybe your waist.