The festive season is kicking in and right around the corner. South African sweets are a delicacy and hold the hearts of millions.

Are you attracted to sweet and sugary foods and experience a strong craving that just won’t go away? Hello there, sweet tooth!

How does eating sweets impact your dental health?

Whether it is gulping a piece of chocolate or finishing a tub of ice cream, we have all been there. Unfortunately, these sweet treats bring along some dental consequences with them. When you eat something sweet, a thin layer of sugar and starch is formed on your teeth. Soon enough, bacteria start to feed on this plaque. Eventually, this leads to acid formation in your mouth that ultimately breaks down the tooth enamel. Yes, that’s bad news if you have a sweet tooth.

But, worry not! Want to keep tooth decay and cavity at bay without giving up your sugar craving? Follow these simple tips consistently:

​1. Find the right toothbrush

Look for two things while choosing your toothbrush: triple-action bristles and diamond-shaped heads. Why? These toothbrushes are specifically designed to thoroughly clean hard-to-reach areas. Try out powered or electric toothbrushes, as they are extremely effective in cleaning too.

2. Don’t skip flossing

Make sure to keep the gaps clean by flossing regularly and removing the buildup of sugar. It is highly recommended to include flossing as an essential step in your dental hygiene routine.

3. Rinse well

Use a mouthwash with fluoride after your meal, especially if you’ve finished off with a dessert. If you don’t have a mouthwash handy, just swishing plain water works wonders too.

4. Sugar-free gum

Chewing a sugar-free gum increases the production of saliva in the mouth while removing the traces of sugar on the teeth.

5. Cut the source of the problem

In the long run, work on reducing the in-take of sweets and sugary food. To start off, choose treats that are less damaging. Avoid hard candy; sticky or chewy gummy treats that tend to linger in your mouth for a longer duration. Slowly, move towards substituting it with a banana.

​The takeaway

Practice proper oral care on a regular basis, especially if you love indulging in sweet treats. Brush at least for two minutes twice a day, floss and use a mouthwash with fluoride. Keep in mind to cut down on sugar before the damage is done. Visit a dentist every 6 months as a part of a general dental check and get a professional clean up to keep your teeth and gums healthy.