It’s time again for chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs, marshmallow chicks and all those other yummy treats. Candy in moderation is ok, but you need to take extra care with your teeth when you eat more than normal.
Sugar itself doesn’t cause the holes and pits in your teeth known as cavities. Instead, they’re created by acid secreted by microscopic bacteria that live on your teeth. These bacteria love sugar as much as you do and when they gobble it up, they use it to make more acid which makes a little hole in your tooth where the bacteria nestle down. Sheltered in their new home, its a lot harder for you to get at them with your toothbrush and the longer the bacteria stay, the bigger the hole gets.
Child cavities can only be fixed by a dentist. You may need a filling, which is where the dentist cleans out the hole and then plugs it up so the bacteria can’t burrow deeper. If an untreated cavity gets really deep, it might reach the pulpy center of your tooth. This can be very painful and create a toothache only your dentist can cure.
To prevent this, brush your teeth after you eat your Easter candy. Brushing knocks off the sugar and starves the bacteria. Without lots of sweets, the bacteria can no longer make the acid needed to create their cavity-homes.
Sugar isn’t the only thing you need to be careful of. The bacteria in your teeth enjoy eating just about everything you enjoy eating. Sugar tends to be worse than most other foods because it’s sticky and is more likely to adhere to your teeth than nuts or celery. But it’s best to brush after every meal so you don’t leave a feast on your teeth for the cavity-making bacteria.