SOUTH WEYMOUTH, MA
When it comes to holiday sweets, most people worry about what it will do to their waist line. Not much thought is given about what an increase in sweets can do to their teeth. While you might assume a few extra trips to the gym after the holidays will take care of the sweets, the potential damage to your teeth from an increase in sweets can be more troublesome.
“If you are continually eating sweets all day long because candy or other sugary treats are available, it raises the acid levels in your mouth to a higher than normal level and that can lead to an increase in demineralization of the enamel and cavity formation,” said Dr. Richard Wolfert, DMD. “Also, the sticky nature of most candy provides the bacteria with more opportunity to create the acid that causes all the problems. And, it goes without saying that sticky candies and sweets are not the best thing to be eating if you have crowns, bridges or other prosthetic appliances in your mouth that can be ‘pulled’ out.”
Does that mean you shouldn’t have any sweets during the holidays? According to Dr. Wolfert, sweets in moderation are fine. The real issue stems back to people’s brushing habits in general.
“The simple fact is most people do not know how to properly brush their teeth, both from a technique standpoint, length of time and frequency,” said Dr. Wolfert.
After selecting a good toothbrush and toothpaste (Dr. Wolfert recommends a soft brush and any toothpaste with fluoride), a good brushing should take at least two minutes and as many four. While there are many different techniques for brushing, here is one of the more popular ways:
- Hold the brush on two to three teeth with a 45 degree angle on the teeth and under the gum. Gently press against the gum so the tips of the bristles go in between the gum and the teeth.
- Apply lateral pressure, making the motion of little circles with the final stroke away from under the gums in order to sweep the plaque away from the teeth and the gum.
- Repeat this motion six to 10 times and move on to the next area of two to three teeth. If your mouth is full of foam, rinse out with water and continue brushing. Your brushing is completed when you have brushed all the surfaces of your teeth; the front, backs and tops of all teeth.
“As far as frequency of brushing is concerned, ideally you want to brush your teeth after each meal. This isn’t always easy to do if you’re out at a party or gathering during the holidays,” said Dr. Wolfert. “If you can’t brush right after you eat, you should, at the very least, brush thoroughly twice a day, after breakfast and before going to bed.
The holidays are not a good time to get a toothache, with many dentists spending time with THEIR families. Often times you will have to be treated by a covering dentist who doesn’t know your dental issues as well as your primary dentist. Therefore, adds Dr. Wolfert, “A checkup prior to the holidays is a very good idea. That way if there are any existing problems, you can address them before you start eating those rich desserts and sweets at the holidays that can aggravate an existing condition.”
Dr. Wolfert’s practice, Smiles by the Toothboss, is located at 1121 Main Street in South Weymouth, Massachusetts. For more information on correct brushing and flossing technique, you can visit Dr. Wolfert’s website at www.toothboss.com or call 781-335-0604 to schedule a consultation.
About Smiles by the Toothboss
Smiles by the Toothboss offers: comprehensive examinations (written treatment and treatment plan provided); cosmetics; crowns, bridges and tooth-colored restorations; partial and full dentures; periodontics (early cases treated); oral surgery; restoration of conventional and small diameter implants; and emergency services (24-hour emergency phone number available).
Smiles by the Toothboss accepts most insurance plans. They also accept payment from most PPO and indemnity plans, including Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Delta Dental. They also accept all major credit cards and have arranged payment plans through CareCredit.
To schedule an initial consultation, please call 781-335-0604. For more information, visit www.toothboss.com.