Sometimes we meet patients who are completely honest with us (something we appreciate, of course) and who are completely honest with themselves. A good example? A patient who says to us, “I know that eating sugar isn’t good for my smile but I love sweet things. I don’t plan on avoiding sugar, so what should I do to protect my oral health?” This is a good question! If you are someone who indulges your sweet tooth, consider some helpful advice.
Remember: There Are Things You Can Do
Okay, so you are eating things that contain sugar. You know that this means your smile becomes coated in sugar, the environment in your mouth becomes acidic, your enamel is at risk of issues like decay, and this is not a good thing for your oral health. Guess what? You can decrease the intensity of what’s going on with the following:
- Rinse your smile immediately after consuming sugar (with water, of course)
- You can also chew sugarless gum after you consume sugar
- After you rinse, it’s extremely helpful if you brush (but only if you wait for your mouth to become more neutral, which takes about 30 minutes)
Remember: There Are Alternatives
Don’t assume that you have to give your sweet tooth sugar, sugar, sugar all the time! Yes, you can generally detect the difference between real sugar and artificial options. However, have you considered other natural sweeteners that don’t have the yucky aftertaste? If you’re interested in protecting your oral health by seeking out alternatives, start with sugarless gum that’s been sweetened with xylitol. It’s natural, good for your teeth, and deliciously sweet.