How Can I Eat Chocolates Without Damaging My Teeth?
It has been said that chocolate is happiness you can eat. If you agree with that statement, bear this precaution in mind: chocolate can also be hard on teeth. So can you eat your chocolate and have healthy teeth, too? Read on to learn more.
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Dr. Samantha Rawdin is a prosthodontist (a dentist specialist who goes through an additional 3 years of training in esthetic, implant, and restorative dentistry) at gallery57dental.com in Midtown Manhattan.
Drink water after
It's more about the frequency than the quantity. Try to stick to only having sweets after a meal or once throughout the day rather than grazing on a few M&M's every hour. Your saliva acts as a buffer to help protect against the drop in the pH of your saliva after eating sugar-filled items. If you're constantly presenting these acid-challenges, overcoming them is going to be more difficult and can lead to cavities.
Drink water after having sweets. One way to help your saliva along is to drink water after having the chocolate. It helps to wash the sugars off of the teeth and rebalance the pH in the mouth.
BRUSH. YOUR. TEETH. Twice a day, every day. Use a fluoridated toothpaste to help protect against cavities. And don't forget about flossing! It's the only way to truly clean the surfaces between the teeth.
Try to stick to dark chocolate. It's lower in sugar and higher in antioxidants.
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Dr. Giuseppe Aragona, General Practitioner & Family Doctor at Prescription Doctor.
You can still eat chocolate and have great teeth, you just have to keep a few things in mind.
Firstly, you need to space out your sweets, and not have too many at once. Try to limit yourself each day. Next is to hydrate as much as you can. Drinking water can help to keep your teeth healthy, so drinking more of it will make sure you can still enjoy chocolate. If you swish your mouth with water after snacking and then brush your teeth 30 minutes after, this will help to remove anything on your teeth and keep them healthy and clean.
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Chew some xylitol gum
Always drink plain water after eating chocolates. This is a general rule. Aside from lessening chances of tooth decay, it also prevents you from having tonsilitis after eating sweets. Hydrate yourself to keep cavities away and then brush your teeth after a few minutes.
Pick your chocolates. Be aware of their ingredients, texture, and mixture instead of just indulging in their luscious taste. Choose ones that aren't acidic and don't need to be exposed for so long in your mouth. Also, limit eating chocolates. These tips won't be useful if you can't discipline yourself when it comes to sweets.
Have some xylitol gums after. Xylitol is a natural non-nutritive sweetener that fights cavities and tooth decay, and chewing some xylitol gum after eating chocolates can greatly help in maintaining your teeth's health if it feels uncomfortable to brush right after.
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Floss right after
Eating your chocolate during mealtimes
To many people, chocolate is a snack that can be enjoyed at any time, but the issue with frequent snacking is that the teeth undergo frequent acidic attacks throughout the day. In the long term, this will be harmful to the structure of your teeth. Therefore, it is better to just enjoy your chocolate during your normal mealtimes as part of your dessert. In this manner, the increase in acidity is consolidated into one meal and there are fewer incidences of acid attacks on your teeth.
Having a good brush and floss right after your chocolate treat
Chocolate is a sticky snack that tends to stick onto the surfaces of our teeth after we eat it. The obvious stains on the broad surfaces of our teeth can be seen easily and removed easily. However, there are many other areas where the chocolate can stick without us realizing it. These areas are the spaces between our teeth or in the fine grooves and fissures on the biting surface of our teeth. In order to remove the [chocolate] thoroughly, we will need proper flossing and brushing. It is recommended to do it right after your chocolate treat because the longer it sticks to your teeth, the more bacteria can adhere and cause damage to your teeth.
Dr. Greg Asatrian
Dr. Greg Asatrian is a board-certified orthodontist and four-time graduate of UCLA. He is also a content creator on YouTube, founding the channel Braces Explained, where he educates the public, in simple terms, about orthodontics—a channel which has grown to 65,000 subscribers with over 7 million views. Find him here: asatrianortho.com
Rinse/drink water afterward
There are a few tips on how to each chocolate without damaging your teeth.
The first is that you should attempt to eat the chocolate in the smallest time window possible. Believe it or not, eating one bar of chocolate in one minute is better for your teeth than eating one piece of chocolate over an hour. This is because your teeth undergo an acid attack anytime you eat something sweet, and it takes about 20 minutes for your body to re-establish the appropriate pH in your mouth. It is during these periods of lower pH that cavities form.
Another way to eat chocolate safely is to rinse/drink water afterward. This will dilute the sugar concentration in your mouth and minimize your risk of cavities.
Although dietary considerations are important for maintaining strong and healthy teeth, it is important to remember to brush twice a day and floss once a day to ensure ideal proper oral hygiene.
Dr. Waqas Ahmad
Dr. Waqas Ahmad is a Family Medicine Physician at Insurecast with vast experience in managing all types of conditions like hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and other common diseases of children and adults.
Eating dark, raw chocolate
Everybody likes chocolates—both children and adults alike. For teeth heath, the problem is not the chocolate itself. The problem lies in the sugar content of the chocolate which is bad for teeth. Milk chocolates contain a lot of sugars. Sugar content, when combined with oral cavity bacteria, becomes a very bad combination for teeth, causing permanent decay. It produces acids that cause damage to the enamel of teeth.
However, there are certain points which, if followed correctly, may help in preventing this damage while eating chocolate.
- Eat chocolate after the main meals. Do not take it as multiple snacks, which may do more harm.
- Rinse after eating the chocolate.
- Brush after 30 mines of eating chocolate. Brush twice daily in routine.
- Mouthwash may be used for further prevention because of its antiseptic effect.
- Stay hydrated. Water improves fluoride, which helps in strengthening of teeth.
- Eating dark, raw chocolate is much better than milk chocolate for teeth and general health.
Dr. Lara Seidman
Dr. Lara Seidman, general dentist at Fountainhead Dentistry in Hagerstown, MD.
Floss and brush
Chocolate damages your teeth by causing cavities. Sticky chocolate can settle into the grooves of your teeth and stay there. Bacteria that are naturally found in your mouth metabolize the sugar in chocolate. The products of this metabolism, in particular, acid, start the tooth decay process, leading to cavities.
There are a few things you can do to minimize the damage chocolate does to your teeth.
1. Pick a bar of chocolate that has a lower sugar content or sugar substitute, like Hershey's Special Dark - Sugar Free, which contains maltitol.
2.And it's important to eat your chocolate relatively quickly instead of keeping it in your mouth for a longer period of time or continuously eating small pieces (like M&Ms) over several hours.
3. If you're able to, it's also always a great idea to floss and brush your teeth after eating chocolate. This removes it from your mouth and immediately stops the cavity formation process.
Chris Lewandowski, DDS, PC
Chris Lewandowski, DDS, PC, is a talented cosmetic and family dentist at Princess Center Dentistry in Scottsdale, AZ. He has created a practice well known for first-class patient service and modern dental care.
Tend your oral hygiene
Americans love chocolate. In fact, we eat over 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate each year, or 11 pounds per person. That is amazing. So, does eating all that chocolate damage your teeth?
The answer depends on what you do after you eat it. Allowing the sugars in chocolate to sit in your mouth and create sticky plaque on your teeth can be harmful. The plaque is full of bacteria and will eventually damage the enamel of your teeth and can initiate decay. However, if your feast on your favorite chocolate bar and follow up with 2 minutes of thorough brushing, there is nothing to worry about. But I must wonder how many of us do that?
Some chocolates, especially dark chocolates, contain ingredients that may benefit your body. Like everything in nature, moderation is best. So, do not let the idea that chocolate can ruin your teeth force you to abandon the delicious treat. Rather, come to terms with the fact that poor oral hygiene ruins teeth, not the foods you expose them to.
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