This holiday season, Bloō Dental advises not to risk the health of your teeth.
"If you don't properly clean your teeth, the results might be cavities, gum disease and possible tooth loss," states Dr. Haress Rahim, director of Bloo Dental.
Teeth are covered with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Following a meal or snack, the bacteria release acids that attack tooth enamel. Repeated attacks can cause the enamel to break down, eventually resulting in cavities. Plaque that is not removed with thorough daily brushing and cleaning between teeth can eventually harden into calculus or tartar.
"Too much snacking and poor dental care can increase the development of plaque and the likelihood of tooth decay," explains Dr. Rahim.
To avoid the risk of tooth decay, Dr. Rahim recommends:
- Avoiding hard candy and sticky sweets that can get stuck to your teeth and stay in your mouth for a long time - providing a feeding ground for bacteria and production of plaque.
- Consuming sweet treats with meals when the mouth releases more saliva to help neutralize acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and helps rinse away food particles.
- Eating more healthy snakes such as fruit, nuts and low-fat cheese.
- Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Cleaning between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner.
- Eating a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.
- Visiting your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.
- Asking your dentist about dental sealants, a protective plastic coating that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts.