Remember your Teeth this Valentine’s Day
As the nation gears up for the season of love, the female half of
couples and kids across the country are all anxiously looking
forward to tasty sweets and candies that Valentine’s Day brings.
Mostly in the shape of hearts there will be chocolates, suckers,
and hard candies of all sorts and types distributed by loving
hands one to another.
Remember your teeth
But dentists in Lincoln, NE, wish for all to remember your teeth
this this holiday season of love and sugar, as the teeth and the
gums will be on the front lines of the Valentine’s Day attack on
dental hygiene. While the symbolic and delicious chocolate
hearts and candies are most certainly appropriate in small
amounts on this festive and loving day of the year, moderation
and self-discipline will be the best way for a person to keep their dental hygiene in good working
condition this Valentine’s Day.
This is because as sugar, like the generous portions that exist in almost all of the treats of the V-Day
season, are introduced into the mouth they provide food for the naturally occurring bacteria that live in
the human mouth. When the bacterium in the mouth consumes the introduced sugar it produces acid
as a byproduct of that consumption.
Acid and sugar
And it is this acidic release from sugar-eating bacteria that causes the formation of cavities on teeth. As
the acid is loosed by the bacteria, it eats away at the protective enamel that surrounds the tooth and, if
not removed through brushing one’s teeth, it will eat way and decay the tooth itself.
This process is worsened by the continued introduction of sugar into the mouth by snaking or eating
sweets throughout the day, as may happen on Valentine’s Day. Because bacteria releases acid up to a
half hour after consuming sugar, continued eating of V-Day sweets throughout the holiday will cause
sustained acid release within the mouth throughout the course of the entire day.
This will inevitably cause tooth decay and possibly the formation of a cavity. To combat this effect of
Valentine’s Day goodies on the dental health of a person, there are two main things that one should
Brush and floss
The first is remembering to brush and floss
one’s teeth regularly at least twice daily. In the
case of the Valentine’s Day tooth decay, one
should not be afraid to brush a few extra times
throughout the day; this is especially helpful if
you cannot lay off the chocolate hearts.
The second way that a person can protect their
teeth during the Valentine’s Day season is by
choosing healthier snack options that will
replace the usual sweets and sugar-filled treats. Such alternative food and snack options may include
the extensive use of fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, melons, apples, and pineapples.
While fruits can be high in natural sugar content they are also typically full of natural juices and water
that will help to wash away the sugar they contain. And besides, its fruit, so it will obviously be a
healthier option than the caramel filled chocolates in the heart-shaped box.
Photo credit: JD Hancock, CeedyE