Love conquers many things, but not toothaches, to paraphrase the actress Mae West. Make sure your Valentine’s Day is a sweet one with these simple suggestions.
The no-no list: Some foods seem like they’d be harmless for your breath, but they alter conditions in your mouth. Sugar is probably the best-known of these foods — it promotes bacteria that leads to offensive breath. Dairy is also an offender, including cheese. Dairy products contain dense proteins that are hard for the mouth to break down.
Wine not?: For many of us, a glass of wine is an essential part of a celebratory dinner. You may be tempted to brush afterward, especially if you’re drinking red wine. We’d never discourage brushing, but be sure to wait an hour! Wine is extremely acidic, and brushing immediately after spreads the acid around. Wait about 90 minutes if possible, to give your mouth a chance to return to its natural pH level.
White overnight: If you’re looking for a last-minute gift idea, ask our office about our special offer on laser whitening! When you call now, you and your sweetheart can save $100 each on whitening. Laser whitening is popular because of its fast, dramatic results. It’s sometimes called bleaching or in-office whitening.
Sweet tooth: Anything with sugar takes a toll on your teeth, of course. But the worst culprits to avoid are sticky, chewy treats like gummy candies and caramels. Most chocolate is, comparatively, not as bad, but you definitely want to brush and floss soon after eating any candy.
Quick tips: There are two simple ways to improve your breath and your dental health. First, avoid “grazing” on snacks. Leave your mouth time to recover and break down the tiny food particles in your mouth — your sweetheart will thank you for it. And if you chew gum to freshen your breath, look for a brand that contains Xylitol, which helps your mouth maintain a healthy pH balance.
Drink up: Want fresh breath for the big night? Stay hydrated. It helps with saliva production, and saliva is your best friend when it comes to fighting bacteria that causes bad breath.
Workplace woes: The entire Valentine’s week is usually chock-full of sweets, since people bring in treats to celebrate as well as leftover snacks after the holiday. Those cupcakes and candies take a toll! We often neglect to brush and floss at work, which only makes it worse. Try to save your snacking for lunchtime so you can clean after you eat.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all our patients and readers!