Protecting your sweet tooth this Easter
With Easter just around the corner and supermarket shelves stocked with all-things-chocolate, ensuring your teeth stay healthy should be at the top of the shopping list.
Queensland Health Chief Dental Officer Dr Mark Brown said while it is nearly impossible to avoid chocolates and other sweet treats over this holiday period, moderation is a starting point.
“Sugars are the food source for harmful bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria feed off sugars and produce acids that destroy tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay,” Dr Brown said.
“The first step to a healthy mouth begins when doing the shopping.
“So this Easter, I encourage you to fill your shopping trolley with a wide range of foods, including fruits, vegetables and dairy products, as healthy alternatives to chocolates, sweet biscuits and lollies.
“Keep Easter treats like chocolate as just that – a treat – and limit eating them between meals. Your mouth needs time to rest between eating to allow saliva to neutralise the acids produced by bacteria and protect against damage to your teeth from sugar.
“Soft drinks, cordials and sweetened drinks also cause tooth decay because of the extremely high sugar content.
“Instead, have tap water. For many Queenslanders, tap water has the added bonus of being fluoridated which protects your teeth.
Dr Brown said Easter is a good reminder to visit your dentist and have a check-up.
“Regular check-ups ensure small problems can be easily fixed before they develop into bigger issues,” he said.
“And with your teeth likely to be hit with a higher sugar load than usual over Easter, it is more important than ever to make sure you have a good routine for dental hygiene.
“Your dental professional can help you establish a routine that is specific to your needs, but as a general rule; limit sugary food and drinks, brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and drink tap water.
“When combined with having regular dental check-ups, this routine goes a long way to ensuring a healthy mouth all year round.”
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