It is typically frowned upon to eat sweets often, but we all know that everyone needs a little dessert now and then. As long as it is not a regular part of your diet, it can be acceptable to have a sweet to satisfy that craving. The key is when you eat that sweet treat as eating it at the wrong time can cause more damage to your oral health than necessary. The best time to eat desserts or sugary snacks is with your meal. This is when your body is producing the largest amount of saliva, which gives the sugars and acids the best chance of being removed from your mouth rather than left to eat away at your enamel.
Why Sugary Treats are Bad
Why is something that tastes so good so bad for your teeth? It is all thanks to the sugar that works in conjunction with the bacteria that naturally resides in your mouth. The sugar is instantly befriended by the bacteria, turning it into acid. The acid works away at the enamel of your teeth and since the enamel is what protects the interior portion of your teeth, tooth decay occurs and more dental work is needed. If you only consume a sweet treat once in a while and are good about brushing your teeth approximately 30 minutes after consuming that treat, excessive damage does not usually occur. If you eat sweet treats often, however, your oral health could be at risk.
Habits to Start
If you are among the group that loves those sugary snacks, try to get into the following habits:
- Eat the sugary snack with other foods so that your saliva production is higher and the other foods can help to wash the sugars away rather than allowing them to pair up with the bacteria in your mouth.
- Drink a glass of water after eating the sugary snack to further the benefit of removing the sugar from your mouth.
- Brush and floss your teeth within an hour of eating the snack, but not earlier than 30 minutes after consuming it as the sugar can get further driven into your teeth as the acids weaken your enamel during that first 30 minutes after consuming the food.