Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and for many folks, that means lots of chocolates. While chocolate is delicious, it’s also loaded with sugar and leads to cavities. If you’re looking forward to some sweets with your sweetie, we have some tips to help protect your teeth with dental cleanings.
Sweet Treats and Teeth
Who doesn’t love the occasional sweet treat? Chocolates, candies, and many drinks contain a lot of sugar. This sugar provides food for bacteria, which in turn grow in your mouth around the teeth and gums. The ingestion of sweets is a leading cause of cavities in children and adults. So what can you do?
The first thing to do is limit your sweets intake. A single piece of candy now and then isn’t bad, but eating a lot leads to problems. The problem happens when pieces of candy become stuck. Many chocolates are sticky, containing nougat, caramel, and other additives. This becomes a major problem when it becomes stuck.
Bacteria thrive on sugar and stuck food particles. And the more there is, the more the bacteria grow. This is why it’s so important to brush your teeth and floss.
Brushing and Flossing
Brushing and flossing your teeth removes food particles. The brushing focuses on the easily accessible surface of your teeth while flossing targets the tough to reach spaces in between.
Clearing out food particles helps prevent cavities. Brushing your teeth also removes bacteria in the form of plaque. Plaque is actually bacterial waste that bacteria use as a sort of home. The plaque protects the bacteria from being washed away with water, saliva, and tongue probing. Brushing your teeth scrapes the bacteria away while toothpaste and mouthwash kill it.
The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice per day for at least two minutes each time. The best time to brush is right after eating. It’s certainly not practical to brush your teeth every time right after you eat some candy, but it’s definitely best to do so once you’re done with eating for a few hours.
Professional Dental Cleanings in Houston
The next major step in protecting your teeth from cavities is professional dental cleanings. You should see your Houston dentist every six months for dental cleanings and checkups. A professional cleaning goes a lot deeper than typical brushing does.
Your Houston dentist removes plaque buildup from all around the teeth and gums, including just under the gum line. This is where bacteria hide the most. By removing the plaque (and it’s more difficult form, tartar), you protect your teeth from excessive decay. The dentist will also give you special tips for brushing and flossing to remove food particles more effectively.
After your dental cleanings, you’ll be ready to plant a firm kiss on your partner this Valentine’s Day. Just keep brushing and cleaning your teeth after you’ve had some of those delicious chocolates and candies!