At Smiles by Design in Scottsdale, Arizona, Dr. Zana Alnaqib and our team are happy to share some healthy smile tips just in time for your holiday celebrations. We know you work hard all year to care for your smile health and we don’t want the holidays to throw a wrench into your efforts. Along with your daily smile care, be mindful of these tips and see the difference it can make in your smile!
The first line of defense in your mouth is your saliva, as it acts like a disinfecting cavity fighter. Plaque–the bacteria that sticks to the teeth and releases acid that wears down tooth enamel–is responsible for causing tooth decay. Saliva helps rinse away bacteria and neutralizes the acid. If you have dry mouth, whether from illness, medication, or unhealthy habits, you need to increase your saliva for a healthy smile. To help stimulate sufficient saliva production, drink plenty of water, chew sugar-free gum or mints, and snack on crisp vegetables. Our dentist may also prescribe artificial saliva if necessary.
Healthier Eating Strategy
Eating sugar or having a soda with a meal is one thing, but snacking or drinking sugary items all day is destructive. The more often you consume sugar (feeding the bacteria in plaque) the more acids coat your tooth enamel for longer periods. It is better to have a slice of cheesecake with a meal rather than snack on chips or chocolate throughout the day.
It takes about 20 minutes to clear sugar from your mouth before it is neutralized. During that 20-minute time period, the bacteria convert the sugar to acid where they are busy attacking your teeth and demineralizing the enamel. Snacking all day keeps this process going on long enough to result in tooth decay, over time. As teeth continue to soften the end result can be root canals and extracted teeth. This is why you want to brush and floss the bacteria away daily.
As you celebrate the holiday goodness this time of year, keep an eye on your smile as well as your waistline. Use this eating strategy and stay hydrated for healthy saliva levels, and watch your smile health improve. Be sure to brush and floss daily and keep your scheduled routine cleaning. Haven’t scheduled your end-of year-cleaning? It’s not too late, just call us at 480-359-2227 and get on our calendar. Dr. Zana Alnaqib and our team at Smiles by Design in Scottsdale, Arizona, wish you and your smile a happy, healthy holiday!