Community | 13 April, 2022

Oral Health Tips for a Healthy Easter

Looking forward to some chocolate-y goodness this Easter long weekend? For many, the two go hand-in-hand, which isn’t always great news for your teeth.

Snacking on any high-sugar foods, such as chocolate, can lead to tooth decay. But the good news this Easter is that it’s not necessarily about what you’re eating, but when you’re eating it.

But first, a quick lesson on how tooth decay happens, from Abano Healthcare’s Clinical Director, Dr Fred Calavassy.

“Every time we eat something, whether it’s a piece of cucumber, a piece of fruit, or a chocolate, the bacteria that live on our teeth in plaque digest the sugars in our food to produce acid. It’s that acid that then causes the hard enamel surface of our teeth to de-mineralise. Continuous acidic attack from plaque acids may eventually lead to the development of a hole – or tooth decay,” he says.

“On the other hand, our saliva acts as a natural remineraliser, thus re-strengthening the tooth and neutralising the acids produced by plaque bacteria. So saliva is essentially a natural healing agent.”

 

“It’s of course better to snack on foods that have low digestible sugar content, but life is all about moderation, so it’s perfectly ok to eat snacks like chocolate now and then,” he says.

“But don't have your meal, and then wait an hour, and then have that chocolate egg separately. Eat it immediately after your meal.  And try and minimise treats that are really sticky, like caramel, which easily get stuck and linger on the teeth for a lot longer. That leads to a slow release of the sugars, which can increase the rate of decay.”

On top of ensuring you keep up the good habit of brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day, keeping well hydrated with plain water can also help, as it supports the production of saliva.

Easter Weboptimised

So while you indulge in chocolate over the Easter holidays be sure to keep the below oral health tips in mind to protect your sweet tooth:

  1. Minimise snacking between meals (this includes foods and drinks)
  2. Ensure you have a sound oral hygiene routine include brushing and flossing daily
  3. Visit your dentist regularly to ensure a preventive approach to maintain your oral health

No matter what you’re snacking on, whether it’s a chocolate bunny or your afternoon pick-me-up, just stay mindful of the frequency of your snacking, to help save your teeth!