As you are preparing for Easter this year, you may be wary of the chocolate bunnies you’re stocking in Easter baskets or the jelly beans your stuffing in plastic eggs. This is a healthy fear; binging on chocolate and sugary candy can make teeth and gums susceptible to bacteria which causes tooth decay and disease. This Easter, practice these…
As you are preparing for Easter this year, you may be wary of the chocolate bunnies you’re stocking in Easter baskets or the jelly beans your stuffing in plastic eggs. This is a healthy fear; binging on chocolate and sugary candy can make teeth and gums susceptible to bacteria which causes tooth decay and disease. This Easter, practice these tips from your Knoxville dentist to reduce the harmful effects of sweet treats on your family’s teeth.
Hydrate Frequently to Avoid Cavities
Sugar, one of the main causes for enamel erosion, not only attracts bacteria but also combines with saliva to form acid. A weak enamel from acid erosion makes teeth vulnerable to bacteria, and creates an environment for tooth decay. Hand your children a glass of water with their baskets of candy. Instruct them to drink plenty of water between each piece of candy. Rinsing your mouth frequently will clean the your smile of some acid formation and bacteria from sugar. Since dry mouth is more conducive to bacteria, hydrating your mouth is a good practice for daily oral hygiene.
Pick the Dark Chocolate Bunny
Dr. Erpenbach does not recommend eating a bunny-sized portion of chocolate; however, choosing the dark chocolate bunny over a milk chocolate or white chocolate confection could be better for your dental health. Recent studies suggest ingredients in dark chocolate can reduce your risk of tooth infection. Tannins are natural substances found in the cocoa powder used to make dark chocolate. Tannins disrupt colonies of bacteria that collect along your gum line and in between teeth that could contribute to gum disease. Another benefit of dark chocolate are flavanoids and phenols which contain heart healthy antioxidants.
Use Fluoridated Toothpaste
After a day of eating on candy, your children need extra protection against cavities and bacteria. Make sure to help them brush thoroughly after indulging in sweet treats. A fluoridated toothpaste can help strengthen the mineralization of the tooth enamel, and protect teeth against acid erosion.
If you need help keeping your family’s mouth healthy, Dr. Jim Erpenbach can help. We provide comprehensive dentistry services that include preventive measures like sealants and fluoride treatments. To schedule an appointment, contact our Knoxville family dentist office at (865) 240-2035. We serve patients from West Knoxville and the Bearden area of Knoxville.