Chocolate, hot cross buns, Simnel cake…maybe a few bank holiday glasses of wine?!
It’s almost Easter and no doubt the temptation for sweet treats is mounting. But whilst there’s little chance of you not indulging (where’s the fun in that?) the chances are your teeth are already on edge about the sugar overload.
Well, here at the Harley Street Smile Clinic we’re all about smiles, and we firmly agree – especially after the year we’ve all endured – that you need to enjoy the good things in life. But we also believe in doing everything possible to preserve and enhance smiles.
So what if we told you there was a way you could do both? Have your cake and eat it.
Well the great news is, there is! Here we take a look at a few sneaky Easter hacks to minimise the damage caused by sugary food and drinks…but sorry, we can’t do anything about the calories!
Hack 1 – don’t graze
Do you have a bowl of mini chocolate eggs on the side? Are you snaffling a few every time you walk past? Stop. Snacking frequently is literally one of the worst things you can do for your teeth.
With regular snacking, you overload your mouth with sugar and your saliva is unable to reach its natural balance. The result? Your mouth is exposed to increased levels of acid and decay and the risk of causing damage is increased dramatically.
To combat this all you need to do is cease the grazing. Try to enjoy your chocolate after a meal. Or if this doesn’t work for you, at least eat it in one sitting, instead of in dribs and drabs throughout the day, to give your natural saliva defences a chance to recover.
Hack 2 – swap your choc
Yay – chocolate can actually be good for your health!
Well, kind of…dark chocolate (containing at least 70% cocoa) is a source of polyphenols, natural chemicals that can help to reduce oral bacteria. It’s also a source of antioxidants, which can help to improve blood flow and it can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Don’t get us wrong, it is still loaded with calories, but it is also by far the healthiest chocolate choice. So, if you’re debating between dark, milk or white, opt for dark as it also generally contains far less sugar.
Hack 3 – remember to rinse
After a chocolate overload, you often feel like you need a glass of water – be sure you act on this want. The simple act of swilling your mouth with water after eating helps to rinse away any excess sugar. This in turn allows saliva to neutralise acid and reduces the risk of tooth decay.
Hack 4 – chew gum
When it comes to protecting your teeth, salvia is one of your chief defences, so anything you can do to encourage its production is a sure-fire winner.
A great trick then – especially if you’ve indulged in chocolate while you’re out and about – is to chew on a piece of sugar-free gum once you’re done. The act of chewing will help to stimulate your saliva glands into action, getting to work on neutralising the nasties in your mouth and helping to dislodge any sneaky chunks of choc that have caught between your teeth.
Hack 5 – drink water
We all know how good water is for our bodies but it’s essential for the health of our teeth too.
And there’s no need for fancy bottled water either. In fact, simple tap water is the preferable option here as it contains fluoride, which helps to strengthen enamel and makes teeth less susceptible to decay.
Drinking plenty of water also encourages the production of trusty salvia, ensuring that you produce enough and that it’s good quality.
Too late for your teeth?
Feel like your smile’s not worth preserving? Unhappy with the colour or quality of your teeth? Then forget the chocolate, how about booking a cosmetic dental treatment as your Easter treat instead?
Here at the Smile Clinic, we are one of the UK’s most experienced cosmetic dentistry clinics and offer a range of procedures to help enhance and perfect your smile. We perform everything from a mini smile makeover for a quick but effective smile lift, right through to gummy smile treatments and veneers, all with amazing results.