We know how hard you worked for your dazzling smile. At Dr. Suzanne Haeri’s South Carthay dental office, patients can expect high-quality treatments for tooth stains and decay, but we take a preventive approach, too. During the winter holidays, people have a lot more exposure to sugar, so we want to provide them with some tips for keeping their teeth safe while remaining sociable.
Dental stains are usually caused by dark-colored drinks such as coffee, soda, red wine, and hot chocolate. These drinks, as well as apple cider, eggnog, and spirits, can also be high in sugar. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria metabolizing sugar and excreting acid, so the amount of decay a person experiences correlates with the amount of time teeth are exposed to sugar. If people take sips slowly and don’t drink water afterward, their teeth will remain coated in residue. Bacteria can also metabolize complex sugars, so bits of crackers, breadcrumbs, or potato starch stuck in between teeth can be converted into acid. Naturally, hard candies, such as candy canes, also put the teeth at risk.
You don’t want to overuse whitening toothpaste, but you don’t want sugar to remain stuck on your teeth for several hours, either. You could try limiting your sugar intake to meals, when you will be producing more saliva. That will help wash away residue. You could also chew sugar-free gum in between meals to dislodge debris and stimulate more saliva. Drink fluoridated water in between sips of sugary or stain-causing drinks to wash them away. If you’re traveling to somewhere without fluoridation, you might bring a few bottles with you.