Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and people throughout the country are already planning to shower their significant other with gifts and goodies. Chocolates, candies, and other sugary delights have become staples of the holiday. Before you go overboard on this Valentine’s Day tradition, you might want to consider how this intake of sugar impacts the health of your teeth and mouth. Fortunately, Mansfield, TX Orthodontist, Dr. Rick Herrmann has some tips to help you enjoy the holiday without inviting cavities and other problems.
There are countless candies and treats that can damage teeth. This is especially true for younger individuals with clear aligners, braces, and other dental appliances. Unfortunately, there are certain confectionary delights that can be a catalyst for delaying dental and orthodontic treatment. In order to keep your gums and teeth healthy while still enjoying Valentine’s Day, let’s look at some treats you should avoid and others you can have.
4 Orthodontic Tips for Maintaining Healthy Teeth
1. Steer clear of sticky and/or hard candy.
Although sticky and hard candies can be addicting and fun to chew, they’re quite damaging to your teeth. Cavities and other oral problems can occur when candies such as Airheads, Starbursts, and suckers are eaten in excess. In addition to oral health, these candies can also be harmful to a person’s health overall. Orthodontists will typically recommend that people steer clear of sticky candies such as gum and caramels to keep their teeth and braces free of any damage.
While candy might be the more traditional approach to celebrating Valentine’s Day, it’s also very damaging to your health. Instead, why don’t you opt for a healthier and equally-sweet substitute such as fruit or vegetables? These foods will help improve your overall health while also making your teeth more resilient.
2. Stick with the chocolates that melt in your mouth if you must eat candy.
Orthodontists aren’t so naive to expect that patients will forgo all candy on Valentine’s Day. In order to meet somewhere in the middle between perfect oral health and complete indulgence, some people suggest sticking with chocolates that melt in your mouth rather than the harder and more sugary alternatives. While vegetables and fruits still reign supreme as the best option, chocolates are a somewhat indispensable part of the most romantic day of the year. If you happen to receive a box full of chocolates, just remain cognizant of what these candies can do to your teeth. Sticky fillings such as caramel can damage your teeth if left in there for extended periods of time.
3. Practice consistent oral hygiene.
Valentine’s Day is not the time to skip flossing or brushing. If anything, it’s a day when these staples of oral hygiene should be embraced even more than normal. Typically, it’s advised that patients floss once per day and brush their teeth twice each day. This ensures that your mouth stays healthier and stronger If you can’t brush or floss immediately following a meal, simply splash water around your mouth to get rid of any morsels leftover from the food or candy.
4. Sugary drinks are a no-go.
Soda is nothing but sugary water. You’ve heard this before, and it couldn’t be truer. On Valentine’s Day, make an effort to cut out these unhealthy drinks entirely and drink tea, milk, or water instead. That white smile is only going to be damaged and colored by drinks rich in caffeine and sugar. Even worse, these ingredients can lead to the decay of tooth enamel, further damaging the protective layer of your teeth.