Easter can be a challenging time for your teeth – with egg-shaped chocolate lurking around every corner. Sugar is one of the main causes of tooth decay, and unfortunately most Easter eggs are packed full of it. Luckily, as dentists, we have a few tricks up our sleeves to help minimise its damage this Easter.
1. Choose your chocolate carefully
Not all chocolate is created equally, and in fact white chocolate isn’t really chocolate at all. If you’re looking for a (sort of) tooth friendly option, dark chocolate is your best bet. It contains less sugar than milk and white, and a higher percentage of cocoa.
Cocoa beans are actually pretty good for your teeth and contain theobromine, which has been shown to remineralise teeth. Unfortunately, you’re unlikely to get much benefit from a chocolate egg, but an unprocessed chocolate bean sounds slightly less appealing at Easter!
2. Enjoy your eggs en masse
Don’t take this point too literally, but there are dental health benefits to enjoying sweet stuff in fewer sittings. Every time you enjoy something sugary, it feeds the bacteria living on your teeth, creating harmful acids at the same time. These acids soften the enamel on your teeth, making them more susceptible to erosion and decay.
It takes your saliva around 30 minutes to neutralise this acidity, so if you wait 30 minutes and then eat another sugary snack the whole process starts again and your teeth are endlessly subjected to acidic conditions. That’s why it’s best to eat your eggs in fewer sittings, preferably at mealtimes.
3. Damage control
Once you’ve gobbled your eggs, there are a few things you can do to limit their damage. Although it may seem like a good idea, don’t brush your teeth just after eating anything sweet – give your enamel 30 minutes to reharden first. In the meantime, drinking water and chewing sugar-free gum can help to stimulate saliva flow and wash away food debris and bacteria.
We hope you find these tooth-saving tips helpful. Most importantly though, we hope you have a wonderful Easter!