Easter is a time to get together with friends and family and enjoy a well-earned long weekend. For many of us, it’s also an opportunity to indulge in chocolate eggs and all kinds of other edible delicacies and sugar-laden treats. In the UK alone, we consume around 90 million chocolate eggs every year (source). Most of us know that eating chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner isn’t nutritious, but have you ever thought about the impact of gorging on Easter treats on your dental health? If you’re keen to enjoy the holidays without putting your smile at risk, we’ve put together some top tips to keep your teeth and gums in check.
How to look after your teeth this Easter
Chocolate, sweets, hot cross buns, biscuits and Easter-themed cakes can have a damaging impact on your oral health. A sugary diet increases the risk of decay and gum disease. To protect your teeth and lower the risk of dental dramas this Easter, here are some dentist-approved tips:
Brush and floss twice daily and leave a gap between eating and cleaning
Good oral hygiene is the best way to protect your teeth and gums. Brush twice a day, every day, taking care to clean each individual tooth. Floss to remove food debris and bacteria from the gum line and gaps between the teeth. Wait at least 30-45 minutes after eating to clean your teeth, allowing the enamel to recover.
Limit chocolate and sweet treats to mealtimes
Eating chocolate and other sweet treats at mealtimes is much better for your teeth than grazing throughout the day and snacking between meals. When you eat, the bacteria in your mouth feed, which causes them to produce acids. These acids weaken the enamel and irritate the gums. If you only eat at mealtimes, this reduces the number of acid attacks, lowering the risk of acid erosion, decay and gum disease.
Drink plenty of water
Drinking water has benefits for your general health, as well as your dental health. Sipping on water and rinsing your mouth after eating helps to neutralise acids and wash away food debris.
Swap chocolate for non-edible gifts
Many of us like to spoil children with chocolate eggs and other edible delights at Easter. This year, why not treat them to non-edible gifts, such as a toy, a book or a game instead? You can celebrate Easter without worrying about tooth troubles.
Make healthier choices
When you’re browsing the aisles looking for tasty Easter morsels, try to make healthier choices. Dark chocolate, for example, contains less sugar than milk and white chocolate and chocolate that contains nuts can help to break up the sugars. You could also explore recipes and make treats at home using natural sugars or sugar substitutes, or buy sugar-free confectionery. It’s also beneficial to avoid hard, boiled sweets and sticky candy, which can chip or get stuck in the teeth.
Easter is a time to enjoy a break and spend quality time with friends and relatives, but it’s also an occasion when many of us indulge in chocolate and other sweet treats. This year, try to make the most of the holidays without harming your teeth and gums. At Exeter Advanced Dentistry, we favour a preventative approach. If you’re keen to make sure your smile is in good shape, why not book a consultation at our surgery today? We are currently accepting new patients and have a range of membership plans available.