Tooth Decay and Gum DiseaseBefore looking at some holiday foods to avoid, it may help ensure that we have a firm understanding of how tooth decay and gum disease develop. Whether you know it or not, your mouth harbors millions of bacteria, much of which is completely harmless. However, some types of oral bacteria cause problems by adhering to your teeth and gums, leading to plaque development. Plaque is a sticky biofilm containing bacteria that secrete substances that damage teeth. Teeth can eventually develop holes that are known commonly as cavities. At that point, you would need a dental filling in Houston, TX, to prevent further decay. Plaque can harden into tartar when it is not removed, which can further develop into gum disease, threatening your teeth and gums.
3 Foods to Avoid During the HolidaysSome foods are particularly harmful to healthy teeth and gums. These foods need to be monitored carefully to ensure that your teeth and gums stay free of tooth decay and plaque.
- Candy Canes: Candy canes are holiday treats that virtually every kid loves. The attractive red and white stripes and the shape of this popular treat are familiar to every child. Unfortunately, candy canes are a losing proposition when it comes to your teeth. People tend to suck on them for long periods of time, leading to a much longer sugar exposure than they would otherwise experience, increasing the risk of tooth decay. Crunching on candy canes can cause them to press against your teeth with great force, leading to tooth fractures. And any tooth fracture will be quickly invaded by sugar and bacteria that feed on the leftover candy canes. It is best to avoid these treats so you don’t need an emergency dentist in Houston, TX, during holidays.
- Chocolate: There are important pros and cons when it comes to chocolate holiday treats. The downside is that the light-colored chocolate, like milk chocolate, is normally loaded with sugar. Consuming this sugar can cause oral bacteria to multiply rapidly and lead to the destruction of tooth enamel. The result is tooth decay and cavities. If you must have some holiday chocolate, try to stick to the darker colored chocolate with a higher cocoa content, making it healthier for your teeth. It is always a good idea to brush following sugary snacks, or at least rinse your mouth out with water to reduce the sugar load in your mouth.
- Sugary Sodas: If you want your teeth to remain as white as snow outside, hold off on the carbonated beverages. Other than the incredible amounts of sugar found in most of these drinks, they also tend to be extremely acidic. These acids can remain in your mouth for long periods of time and eat away at your tooth enamel and lead to tooth decay development. Dark-colored sodas can even stain your teeth over time, which may lead to the need for teeth whitening in Houston, TX.