February 14th is Valentine’s Day, a holiday where the traditional present for your sweetheart is a large box of chocolates and other sugary treats to show how much you love them.
However, even though your partner may love you for these kinds of gifts, their teeth certainly will not. You never have to set aside the tasty treats you receive during the season of love, but it’s important to keep your teeth healthy and clean after taking a bite.
How Sugar Impacts Teeth
We all indulge in sweets this time of the year, but all of that sugar can negatively impact your smile and the health of your teeth. The acids found in the sugars used in your favorite Valentine’s Day snacks can wear away the enamel of your teeth, weakening the natural protection your teeth have. This can lead to small holes forming in the structure of the tooth, which increases your sensitivity and pain when eating or drinking.
The sugar you consume also attracts harmful bacteria that can lead to receding gums, the formation of plaque, and less protection of the teeth. Without this protection, your teeth may even begin to chip or break.
What to do at Home to Protect Your Teeth
The best thing to do is a classic piece of advice- brush your teeth every day, primarily after you eat. We’ve all been told the importance of brushing your teeth, but this advice is still incredibly important because daily brushing helps remove the buildup of plaque on the teeth. It also helps to remove the stains and discoloration left behind by the foods we eat.
More importantly, brushing and flossing every day keeps your teeth and gums healthy by cleaning out the bits of food left behind which attract harmful bacteria that cause bad breath and the breakdown of your oral health.
When to Get a Dental Cleaning
Dental cleanings are the best ways to remove the plaque and bacteria which hurt your teeth and gums because dental professionals target hard-to-reach areas of the mouth that you may have missed on your own.
It is recommended that you receive regular dental cleanings every year to have constant prevention against tooth decay and damage caused by sugary foods and drinks.
If you notice that your gums are tender or swollen, this can be an early sign of gum disease, caused primarily by poor oral hygiene, and you should seek a professional exam and cleaning as soon as you can because gum disease can lead to more extensive health issues in the body.