Posted .

It’s that time of year again where most of us have visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads. Every year the holidays bring with them festive social gatherings and sugar-laden offerings to excite your taste buds but spell ruin for your pearly whites. And it’s not easy to resist as your brain is wired to see sugary, rich, fatty foods as rewards. The problem is, if you aren’t careful, your smile can pay the price.

When you eat, acids are released in the mouth as oral bacteria feed on the sugar and starches. While there are millions of bacteria setting up camp in the mouth, certain harmful bacteria are especially active and release acids. Acid attacks on your tooth enamel soften it and demineralize this protective layer. Healthy levels of saliva remineralize tooth enamel as it bathes the teeth in calcium and phosphorous. Meanwhile, constant acid exposure can make the enamel susceptible to cavities.

For this reason, you should wait at least 20 minutes after eating sugary foods (and beverages) before brushing your teeth, as it gives saliva enough time to dilute the acids and remineralize enamel. Chewing sugar-free gum after eating will also stimulate the saliva levels.

Family Smile Center LLC in Frederick, Maryland, is happy to help you with all of your oral health needs. If you are ready to schedule an appointment with our dentists, Dr. Peter Cha & Danny H. Dinh, simply call 301.663.9484 today and we will make sure you receive the quality care you deserve!