10 Feb 7 Dental Tips for Valentine’s Day to Avoid a Dental Emergency
Valentine’s Day is one of those times when we like to spoil the ones we love, and often that “spoiling” includes sweets. That means extra sugar on our teeth. Increased sugar can lead to cavities and increased tooth sensitivity. Handling a dental emergency isn’t the most romantic way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Here are some tips to help you avoid a visit to the dentist when you’re supposed to be focused on love.
Take Steps to Keep Your Teeth Strong
As much as we would like life to be fair, not all teeth are equally strong. Some are more vulnerable than others, but fortunately, we are not powerless when it comes to keeping our teeth as strong as possible. Caring for our teeth every day will help keep your teeth stronger, so you can handle an occasional sugar splurge without it turning into an emergency. This means brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing. Ideally, each tooth brushing session should last about two minutes.
Neutralize Acid on Your Teeth
While straight sugar is among the worst things for your teeth, acid, in general, can hurt your overall dental health. That means things like coffee and tea can break down the enamel, even if you drink it black. You can help to neutralize some of this acid by drinking water between cups of these beverages, as well as after you have sugary drinks or snacks.
Limit Everyday Sugar
While chocolates can be a delicious Valentine treat, eating a lot of sugar each day is something you should watch out for. When you do bite into Valentine’s treats you can make some wiser choices, such as having dark chocolate instead of a higher sugar milk chocolate.
Avoid Sticky and Pure Sugar Candy
When it comes to candy, there are some culprits that are especially harmful, and they should be avoided when possible. Caramel candies are more likely to stick to teeth. Sugar-only treats, like cotton candy or sweet tarts, tend to attack at lightning speed, increasing the risk of a toothache or cavity.
Include Calcium Rich Snacks
Calcium really is good for teeth and bones, and chocolate isn’t the only snack with romantic connotations. Good cheeses, such as brie or cheddar cubes make great treats, especially when accompanied by fresh berries or apple slices.
Carry Some Sugarless Gum
While brushing your teeth after a sugary snack is best, chewing sugarless gum with Xylitol for a few minutes is a good alternative. If you are at a restaurant, you can excuse yourself for a few minutes after dessert and pop a piece in your mouth while you go to wash up. By the time you are back, the gum will have removed excess sugars from your teeth and will have you ready for the next round.
Watch Out For Heartburn and Acid Reflux
Nobody likes to think about issues like heartburn and acid reflux on Valentine’s Day, but thinking about them just may be the thing that you need to do in order to prevent an unpleasant experience. If you know you are susceptible to these conditions, taking medications before your meal can help minimize symptoms. These conditions can mean there is a higher level of acidity in your mouth which can harm sensitive teeth and may lead to decay. Besides taking medications, avoiding overeating, high-fat foods, and allowing your food to digest for at least 30 minutes before lying down will also help to keep discomfort at bay, and prevent excess acid from settling on your teeth.
If you follow these tips, most dental emergencies can be avoided, however, there are no guarantees. For most concerns, seeing a dentist within the next 24 hours will give you a good chance for protecting your teeth. For some situations, like a broken jaw, broken or knocked-out tooth you should head to a dentist’s office or emergency room right away in order to save your tooth.
As with any emergency, proper follow up with a dentist can minimize problems later on. Dental Brothers in Mesa and Phoenix specializes in family dentistry, orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry, dentures and partials, dental implants and sedation dentistry and help you maintain or restore your smile on any day of the year.