It’s the season of love. The greeting card aisle is stocked with glittery pink messages. Diamond commercials are on a loop. Long stemmed roses must be ordered. But the universal sign of love, the thing we all know means business, is the sugar! A heart-shaped box tied with a red bow and filled with chocolate means Valentine’s Day is here.
I’m not telling y’all to forego the good things in life. It’s simply my responsibility to remind you about what sugar does to your teeth. (I hear the groans, trust me.)
Let’s review the basics.
Why is Sugar a Big Deal?
Tooth decay happens because of the bacteria that feeds on sugars from food and drinks. That bacteria is plaque. Plaque sticks to your teeth and produces acids that will eat away at the enamel on your teeth. That’s a big deal.
What is Enamel?
The enamel on your teeth is the hardest and most highly mineralized substance in your body. It covers the outer layer of each tooth and it is the most visible part of the tooth. It’s an important part of your smile.
Sugar + Enamel = 🙂 or 🙁
This depends on you. If you watch how much sugar you eat and how you take care of your teeth, you can maintain a healthy mouth and smile. Here are a few easy ways to keep your smile (and your Valentine) healthy:
- Chew sugar-free gum between meals. Chewing gum boosts saliva production up to 10 times the normal flow. Saliva helps strengthen teeth with important minerals.
- Drink more water throughout the day, if you have low saliva volume or dry mouth.
- Use fluoride toothpaste.
Happy Valentine’s Day (and don’t forget to floss!).