Do trips to the dentist grip you with paralyzing fear? A lot like Halloween, they are especially scary for children. (But going to the dentist scares the pants off us as adults, too).
So, what’s the best way to keep trips to the dentist scary-free for your kids and you? Simply avoid the Sugar Monster. Stay away from these five foods where it lurks waiting to destroy your teeth and gums.
Keep Trips Scary-Free by Avoiding These 5 Foods
Sugar is the number one culprit for tooth decay and gum disease. And certain foods are especially dangerous. Here are five foods that allow the Sugar Monster free reign to prey on your teeth.
1. Hard candy
Sucking on hard candies (peppermints, cough drops, Jolly Ranchers, etc) dissolves calcium from your tooth enamel. Because hard candy usually ends up sitting in one area of your mouth for a long period of time, a very concentrated build-up of acid develops. How does this happen? Basically, bacteria that exist in our mouth convert sugars into acid. Thus, your now acidic saliva demineralizes your tooth enamel. If allowed to continue, the Sugar Monster creates a hole in your tooth.
2. Sticky candy and dried fruit
The Sugar Monster lurks in sticky candy (gummy bears, chewy toffees, Starburst, even chocolates) and dried fruits. Because these foods stick to your teeth, your saliva can’t reach those areas to prevent holes in your teeth. Your saliva can’t neutralize the acid and remineralize those areas creating a greater loss of calcium. Since bacteria convert all sugars into acid, it doesn’t matter whether it’s refined sugar or fruit sugars. If you eat sticky candy or dried fruit this Halloween, follow up by brushing your teeth.
3. Citrus fruit
Say you enjoy sour foods over sweet ones. Don’t think you’re safe from the clutches of the Sugar Monster. Citrus fruits (lemons, limes, oranges) contain some sugar, but they are highly acidic. Because of this, they harm your teeth, to begin with. So sucking or chewing on them encourages cavities as well.
4. Sugary drinks
Once again, the Sugar Monster lurks. This bad guy is alive and well inside sugary drinks, too. Sipping on sodas throughout the day, even fruit juices gives him access to do his evil deed on your enamel. But you can minimize the effect he has by drinking water right after drinking something sugary.
Here’s a great tip. Keep a stash of straws handy at all times. Drinking sugary drinks through a straw keeps most of the soda or fruit juice away from your teeth.
5. Sports drinks
Avoid the Sugar Monster found in thick, sticky, high-carb sports drinks. They may replenish electrolytes, but they are also acidic. Like hard candies, these drinks stick to your teeth for long periods of time promoting tooth decay. When it comes to your teeth, drinking plain ol’ water is best.
Keep Your Dentist Trips Scary-Free
To keep your fear of visiting the dentist’s office for fillings and gum disease at bay, you must squash the Sugar Monster daily! Remember to:
- Avoid sugar
- Brush your teeth after you eat sticky candy or dried fruits
- Reduce your consumption of acidic foods
- Use a straw when enjoying a sugary drink
- Just drink lots of plain ol’ water
Are your trips to the dentist scary-free? They can be! How? Avoid sugar, take proper care of your teeth daily, and visit our office for regular checkups at least twice a year. Call Davis Dental PC at (307) 634-3488 to schedule your checkups now and take the scary out of your dental visits.
Quality Dental Care for Your Whole Family
3249 Sparks Road
Cheyenne, WY 82001
Open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm