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What better way to escape the summer heat than a cool slushie? How can a fun night camping be complete without a delicious s’more? While these summer treats are certainly easy on the taste buds, your teeth won’t be as happy. Find out what your favourite summer foods are doing to your teeth.
We all know that too much sugar is bad for your teeth, but what is it about sugar that makes it so bad? The answer lies within the hungry bacteria on your teeth that are always looking for a quick snack. Simple carbohydrates, like sugar, are eaten up rapidly by these bacteria, encouraging their growth and causing the formation of dental plaque. As a rather unfortunate byproduct of the bacterial metabolism of sugar, acids are produced, which wear down and damage tooth enamel. Now, let’s say instead of just foods high in sugar, you’re exposing your teeth to concentrated sugar in liquid form, which is essentially what a slushie is. Liquid sugar can easily get in and around teeth and stick around for hours. Moreover, the increased surface area means bacteria can get at these sugars and produce acidic compounds even faster.
Liquified sugar might sound bad enough, but there are even worse ways that this sweet compound can endanger your teeth. Many of us have fond memories of a quiet evening spent next to a cozy campfire, munching down on a soft and chewy s’more. As you can probably imagine, however, gooey marshmallows and sticky chocolate is just about the worst way to coat that sugar all over your teeth. Not only is the sugar content high, but marshmallow bits are infuriatingly tricky to dislodge. If you’re planning on indulging in one of these summer delights, be sure to brush your teeth well before bed! Double check to ensure that you’ve removed all traces of your sticky treat.
Juice has a tendency to be advertised as a zero-consequence beverage. While fruit juices can be high in vitamins, they also tend to be highly acidic. As a result, juice can wear down your enamel just like acidic byproducts of bacterial metabolism. In particular, citrus fruits like oranges or grapefruits are higher in acid than other juices, making them especially harmful. The best way to continue to enjoy these drinks is to give your teeth a good rinse with a swish of water afterwards. This will wash away much of the juice and prevent it from hanging around on teeth.
Summer is a great time to enjoy some delicious treats, but take care that you’re doing so in a responsible way! Centennial Smiles Dental is always happy to see new faces in our office. You can reach us at (587) 317‑7959!