Every year, the 22nd of April has been deemed National Jelly Bean Day, a great reason to celebrate for anyone with a sweet tooth. You may have some concerns, however, about these sugary snacks and how they'll affect your teeth. Your West Roxbury, MA dentists - Dr. Hazem Wehbe, Dr. Evelyn Adamian, Dr. Shadi Daher and Dr. Sarah Stipho - understand that sometimes you need to satisfy that craving for sweets, so they've compiled a list of do's and don'ts for candy consumption.
How to eat candy the right way
It may surprise you to learn that cavities aren't just caused by sugary drinks or foods. The plaque that collects naturally on your teeth is made up of bacteria that metabolize not just sugar, but anything containing starch, to create the acids that break down the protective enamel on your teeth and cause decay to form.
The good news is that you don't have to completely avoid sugar (unless you have a medical condition that prevents it); you just have to know the proper way to eat it. To avoid constantly "feeding" the bacteria in plaque, your West Roxbury dentist suggests resisting the habit of eating candy throughout the day and limit your intake to once a day. Following your sweet snack up with a calcium-rich food like cheese, nuts or yogurt can also help limit the acidic affects by exposing your teeth to calcium and phosphorous, which are needed to strengthen the enamel. You can also chew a sugar-free gum to help remove sugar particles from between the teeth and promote the production of saliva, which helps to naturally clean the mouth.
What not to do
The best way to keep sugary snacks from infiltrating your dental health is to avoid sticky things like taffy and hard candies. They remain on your teeth much longer than other foods and can even dislodge fillings or crowns if they are particularly tacky. Your West Roxbury dentist has repaired many restorations from this common practice. You can also avoid plaque buildup by sipping on water as you enjoy your snack.
If you missed National Jelly Bean Day this year, don't worry; there's still time to celebrate National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day on May 15th! Just remember the tips from your West Roxbury, MA dentist and you can safely and comfortably enjoy a sweet treat.
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