Chocolate eggs, which date back to early 19th century Europe, have long been associated with Easter as a symbol of new life and Jesus' resurrection.
When it comes to our teeth, however, chocolate can unfortunately mean bad news because of its sugar content.
Some tips that you could use over this holiday period-
- Choose a more tooth-friendly candy and chocolate
Dark chocolates are a better choice than others. Choose good quality dark chocolate, with a high percentage of cocoa (upwards of 70%). Cocoa beans have been discovered to contain some tooth-friendly compounds which can prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth, thereby combating tooth decay. Hard candies, chewy candies and sour candies can all be damaging to your teeth. Choosing sugar-free candies can reduce the sugars available for harmful bacteria to feed on.
- Limit chocolate to meal times only
Each time we eat anything sugary, our teeth are under acid attack for around an hour. Therefore, instead of constant snacking, it is far better to eat your candy in one sitting, which will limit the number of times your teeth come into contact with the harmful sugar. This limits how long it is on your teeth. Eating candy with a meal is better, as the increased saliva protects your teeth.
- Find low-sugar chocolate alternatives
When shopping for chocolates and lollies, keep an eye out for sugar-free and low-sugar options because they will do considerably less damage to the teeth than products packed with sugar. Check the ingredients on packets before purchasing to help you make wise choices. It might be a good idea for the neighbourhood parents to opt for better alternatives.
- Rinse with water
Candy temporarily softens your tooth enamel. It takes about 30 minutes for the enamel to harden back up. In the meantime, rinse with water, which helps flush the food debris out of the mouth and maintain a healthy pH.
- No chocolate an hour before bedtime
After consuming sugars, the acids generally soften your enamel for about 30 minutes. Brushing your teeth during these 30 minutes can cause damage to your softened enamel. Hence, it is wise to keep away from chocolates and lollies for at least an hour before your bedtime brushing.
- Maintain your regular oral hygiene
As always, festive season can be a bit of a worry as we can often forget to take care of our teeth. Please do not forget your daily routine of brushing and flossing. Also, remember to see your dentist for your 6 monthly visit.