There are lots of sugary drinks and snacks available in the fall. With Thanksgiving fast approaching and the winter holidays right around the corner, we at Dr. Dipika Shah’s Holmdel dental practice want our patients to enjoy the festivities without the risk of tooth decay. We thought it would be a good idea to point out some common sources of sugar and how to maintain good hygiene while indulging in them.
The longer sugar is in contact with teeth, the longer bacteria will be feeding on it and producing acid. Sticky, sugary foods such as cranberry sauce can fuel tooth decay, as can caramels and hard candy, which remains in contact with the teeth for an extended period and tends to dry out the mouth. Other major sources of sugary residue are sweet or creamy beverages such as apple cider, lattes, hot chocolate, and wine. People should also keep a watch on debris from starchy snacks such as crackers, since starch is also food for bacteria.
Substituting sugary hard candies with xylitol-flavored ones will remove a source of tooth decay and stimulate saliva production. Chewing sugar-free gum between meals will also dislodge food debris if a person isn’t able to brush and floss right away. You can mitigate the residue from sugary drinks by interspersing sips of water while consuming them. If you won’t have access to fluoridated tap water, you can carry fluoridated water in bottles. And while crackers may leave a lot of debris, cheese contains vital minerals for strengthening enamel.
Dr. Dipika Shah, Master in the Academy of General Dentistry, operates at 723 N Beers St, Suite 2F, Holmdel, New Jersey, 07733-1512. To schedule an appointment, call 732-264-8180 or visit Dentist NJ and fill out a contact form.