The holiday season starts with Halloween this week, and we know lots of our patients are going to be eating sugary treats. At Bishop & Bishop Dental in Silver Spring, we don’t want to take the fun out of anyone’s festivities. But we thought our patients may not know what exactly the risks to their oral health are.
One of the most common misconceptions about tooth decay is the notion that the sugar content of a particular food is what leads to decay. It is actually the length of time the teeth are exposed to sugar that correlates with their risk. A starchy food can pose a major threat if a piece of it gets stuck between two teeth for a long time. So while candy isn’t good for the body and can increase tooth decay, it is hard candies that are kept in the mouth for a long time and sticky treats that lodge in crevices which are the biggest problems. Soda and cream-filled caffeinated drinks also present a risk when they are drunk slowly, allowing sugary residue to remain behind.
Patients would do well to brush their teeth after consuming something sugary, but we recognize this is sometimes difficult. They can still limit themselves to eating candy after meals, when they will be producing more saliva, which washes away sugar. They can also try chewing sugar-free gum, which will dislodge some food debris, although they need to be careful if they have old fillings. Another tip is to keep fluoridated water on hand and take swigs from in between sips of soda.
David Bishop, DDS and Dorienne Taylor-Bishop, DDS, operate Bishop & Bishop Dental at 8830 Cameron St, #504, Silver Spring, Maryland, 20910. To set up an appointment, call 301-608-9270 or visit Bishop Dental and fill out acontact sheet.