As the summer heats up, many families are eager to reach for an ice cream cone to help cool down. This sweet treat is popular for good reason — it’s delicious! With endless options available, everybody has a flavor that speaks to them. While it’s safe to enjoy this dessert in moderation, it’s important to keep in mind how it may be affecting your smile. If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity in The Woodlands, our team at The Woodlands Dental Group invites you to give us a visit.
How Does Sugar Affect Oral Health?
Sugar interacts with the bacteria in your mouth to form an acid. Within 20 seconds of consuming sugar, this acid can begin damaging your teeth by weakening the protective enamel, potentially resulting in a cavity. Saliva is a natural defense to this process, as it contains phosphate and calcium minerals that go to work repairing teeth through the process of remineralization.
Quitting sugar doesn’t automatically mean no cavities. Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, and fermentable carbohydrates commonly found in bread and crackers, all weaken enamel and fuel the bacteria within your mouth. Making good oral hygiene a consistent part of your daily routine is the best way to avoid painful gum disease and reduce your chances of developing cavities.
Tooth Sensitivity Causes & How to Prevent Long-Term Damage
Many people have experienced the sensation of biting into something cold and feeling discomfort. This not only makes eating ice cream less fun, but it can also be an indicator of worn enamel, tooth decay, or even receding gums. Tooth sensitivity and gum recession often go hand in hand, as many people will attest to if they’ve felt the sharp pain of ice cream on an exposed oral nerve.
Tooth sensitivity prevention is multifaceted and includes consistent oral hygiene habits. Opting for low-sugar options such as frozen yogurt can help you prevent the buildup of plaque and damage to the enamel. To limit the negative effects of enjoying a sweet treat, it’s recommended that you drink water after your dessert and brush your teeth within 30 minutes.
Your Woodlands dentist isn’t telling you to give up ice cream entirely. After all, it’s high in calcium! Similarly, frozen yogurt is rich in nutrients and has a host of other benefits, such as probiotics and lower lactose content. Consider switching your scoop of cookies and cream to the frozen yogurt alternative, while still enjoying a creamy and refreshing dessert.
At the Woodlands Dental Group, we strive to provide our patients with the most up-to-date information that enables you to keep your oral health in tip-top shape. The Woodlands, TX gets hot during the summer months and we encourage you to make healthy choices when reaching for a frozen dessert at the end of a long day. If you’re experiencing painful gums or tooth sensitivity, schedule an appointment with a dentist in The Woodlands today at (281) 367-3900.