Are you busy preparing for the big day next week? Millions of us will be traveling or welcoming family and friends into our homes for a big feast. While we love Thanksgiving as much as anyone, we also know that many of our holiday favorites contain ingredients that could lead to cavities. Fortunately, your Houston, TX, dentist has few tips to safeguard your teeth and gums.
What Causes a Cavity?
A dental cavity develops when the sensitive and porous inner layers of dentin are exposed to harmful bacteria. Normally, this doesn’t happen because the outer layer of tooth enamel, the hardest substance in the human body, safeguards these sensitive layers. However, injury could damage enamel and poor oral hygiene could allow plaque buildup to form, which weakens and erodes the enamel. Soon, bacteria can reach the dentin and cause a painful cavity, leading to tooth sensitivity and toothaches.
How Do I Protect My Smile This Thanksgiving?
Plaque often forms when harmful bacteria consume sugary and starchy particles stuck on or between the teeth. In the process, they coat the teeth in plaque, weakening the outer enamel. Many of our holiday favorites, such as sweet potatoes, stuffing, mashed potatoes, biscuits, pie, cookies, and cake, all contain sugar and starch. Drinks such as soda and sweet tea could also be problematic. We suggest cutting back on these items, and when you do consume sugary or starchy foods, be sure to follow up with a glass of water to help cleanse the smile. Fresh veggies like broccoli or carrots could also help by essentially scrubbing the teeth as you consume them.
You also need to make sure you take time to clean your teeth. Brushing and flossing helps remove food particles and safeguard the smile. You should brush your teeth for two minutes twice daily and floss before bed. We suggest a toothpaste with fluoride when you do. Consider excusing yourself after the meal to go and floss quickly!
A Checkup and Cleaning Before 2020
Make time to see us before the year ends for a checkup and cleaning. We can look for possible signs of trouble and offer treatment to help you start a new year with a healthier smile. A cleaning also helps brighten teeth and improves oral health by removing all plaque and tartar from the surfaces of the teeth. If you have any questions about routine homecare, or about our exams and cleanings, then contact our team today.
MMC DENTAL PROTECTS ORAL HEALTH
Our team would like to help you enjoy optimal oral health with general and preventive family dentistry. To find out more about maintaining good smile health, then please schedule a consultation with Dr. Michael Chan by calling MMC Dental in Houston, TX, today at (713) 926-8896.