All too often, kids clamor for high-sugar sweets and treats like chocolate, candy and cakes. Whilst there’s no issue with the occasional baked treat, if children eat these types of food regularly, tooth decay can become a major problem. If you’re keen to stay on top of your family’s dental hygiene, check out these simple tips which can improve tooth and gum health for everyone.
Time Your Tooth Brushing
There is evidence to suggest that brushing immediately after eating a sweet treat can do more harm than good, as the toothbrush causes an abrasive action again the sugar coating the teeth. If you or your kids have had some chocolate or candy, wait half an hour before reaching for the toothbrush and remember the simple rules—brush for two minutes (preferably with an electric brush) twice (and no more than three times) a day.
Balance Acid With Alkaline
Sugars and other ingredients can create acids in the mouth which wear down tooth enamel and cause decay. You can counteract this effect by eating something alkaline after a sweet snack. Think a glass of milk, a slice of cheese or a big dollop of yogurt – any of these foods will help to neutralize some of the sugar acids. This doesn’t mean you can skip brushing though! It’s just a good habit to get into, combining sugary snacks with alkaline foods.
Don’t Snack On Sweets Throughout The Day
Dentists are never going to say eating lots of sugar is OK, but if you’ve got a real sweet craving then it’s important to remember that eating several cookies or candy bars all in one go is better for your teeth than spacing them out throughout the day. The reason for this is that eating them in one go provides one coating of sugar on your teeth, which you can then remove by brushing half an hour after eating the treats. However, if you snack on sweets throughout the day your teeth will be almost continually coated in sugar, leading to a faster rate of decay.