As with Thanksgiving, Easter has become a national holiday where people gather together to enjoy time together — and a lot of food, especially candy. It doesn’t matter if you are religious or not, as baskets full of colorful eggs and sweets are becoming more and more popular.
But there’s a danger with that. Sugar is bad for your teeth, but that’s not all. Many of the treats you’ll enjoy around can increase your risk of cavities, gum disease, and dark teeth. Call us today at our Bridgeport/Trumbull dental office (203-372-1220) or our Shelton dental office (203-378-9737) or use our online tool to schedule your next appointment. Dental cleanings and dental exams from our highly skilled team can help keep your smile healthy and bright.
Food & Drinks That Can Damage Your Teeth
Yes, sugar is probably the biggest culprit when it comes to dental problems. That’s because sugar is the favorite food of harmful bacteria found in your mouth. These can survive on anything you can, but sugar is packed with the energy they need to grow and multiply.
That’s why sugary foods like candy, cake, and cookies are bad for your teeth: They increase your risk of cavities and gum disease by supporting the bacteria behind both dental health problems.
But sugar isn’t the only thing to worry about:
- Carbohydrates are very similar to sugars in that they’re packed dense with energy. Eating some bread is not the same as eating some candy, but carbs will still make cavities and gum disease more likely.
- Acid: Acids in foods and drinks don’t encourage those bacteria, but because it’s literally an acid, it erodes your enamel similarly to tooth decay.
- Alcohol: By itself, alcohol doesn’t directly affect your teeth. But it dries your mouth out. Saliva washes away some of the sugar, carbs, and acid on your teeth, so alcohol indirectly increases your chances of dental problems. Plus, many alcoholic drinks are heavy in carbs (beer), acids (wine), or sugary mixers.
Tips For Surviving Easter Treats
This holiday should be a celebration with family and friends, so you should enjoy some candy and other treats. It’s not like you do this all the time, right? But here are some tips to help you enjoy Easter without hurting your teeth.
Pass on candy that’s brightly colored or sticky.
All candy is bad for your teeth, but some are harder on teeth than others. Any candy that’s brightly colored like jellybeans will add tiny stains to your enamel. It’s not like you’re going to turn your teeth bright blue, but over time, your teeth will lose their luster and look dingy.
Any sticky candy is a problem because it’s so sticky. Little bits of sugar will stay stuck to your teeth for a while, giving a fantastic buffet dinner to those harmful bacteria. There’s plenty of other candy options available, so stick with those.
Rinse with plain water after meals and snacks.
Every time you eat and drink, tiny particles of both get trapped on your teeth and gums. This is how those harmful bacteria get their food. While sugar and carbs let them thrive, they can eat the same things you eat. To fight this, rinse your mouth with plain water after every meal or snack. Water will wash away a lot of those food particles to keep your risk of cavities and gum disease lower.
Fill baskets with some small toys and games instead of only candy.
If you’re celebrating this holiday with Easter baskets, there’s nothing requiring you from filling them to the brim with sugary candy. You can use sugar-free candy, but you can also replace some of those sweets with toys and games. Especially with kids, these can be just as special and exciting as finding candy bars and chocolate eggs.
Hide the baskets after enjoying some candy.
Speaking of baskets, many people leave them out all day long like an April version of Halloween. Doing so just makes it easier for everyone in your home to snack and graze on candy throughout the day. To avoid this unhealthy mistake, hide the baskets after people have enjoyed some of the candy. It’s also a great idea to put the candy in a bag and freeze it. Keeping candy out of sight can help people avoid temptation.
Limit how much soda or alcohol you drink.
You probably know that regular soda is bad for your teeth, but so is diet soda. That’s because all soda is highly acidic and can erode your enamel. As with candy, having some is fine — you just need to limit how much you drink. The same is true for alcohol. Some drinks like white wine are both sugary and acidic, and dark drinks like amber beer and red wine can stain your teeth.
Call us immediately at our Bridgeport/Trumbull dental office (203-372-1220) or our Shelton dental office (203-378-9737) to schedule dental cleanings and dental exams to help protect your smile after Easter is over.