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Trick-or-treating time is upon us! With it often comes excessive amounts of candy and sweet treats. This can bring a smile to anyone’s face–but do you know how to take care of that smile in spite of all the sugary goodies?

It is important to understand how sugar affects your smile. There are bacteria present in your mouth; these bacteria feed on sugar, then convert that sugar into acids that erode your tooth enamel. The longer the sugar stays next to your teeth, the more time the bacteria have to produce acid, and the more rapidly your teeth erode. Thus, it is a good idea to get the sugars out of your mouth as quickly as possible (this also applies to naturally or artificially acidic foods).

Unfortunately, after eating or drinking–especially acidic foods–your tooth enamel is more sensitive to abrasion. Brushing your teeth is inherently abrasive. This means that it is not a good idea to brush your teeth right after eating.

After eating sticky, starchy, or sugary foods, be sure to chew sugarless gum for 20 minutes to stimulate saliva flow, then brush your teeth extra-thoroughly that day. Remember to floss one time every day, removing plaque from between teeth. This is vitally important to mouth health, as food and plaque can easily get caught between teeth and cause cavities in hard-to-clean places.

For more information, call Radiant Smiles Family Dentistry in Kirkland, Washington, at (425) 828.9721. Drs. Danlu Lee & Wendy Yeung and our team look forward to making your smile shine this holiday season!