These Treats Are Worse for Teeth Than Candy

girl with jack-o-lanternWhen it comes to candy-filled holidays like Halloween, we usually caution our patients to enjoy sweet snacks and candy in moderation. And with good reason. It should come as no surprise that sugar is one of those things that concerns the team at our dental office in Georgetown. After all, sugar is a dentist’s worst nightmare, right? Maybe not. It turns out that there are some snacks out there that can be worse for your smile than sugar-packed candies.

What’s the Big Deal About Sugar Anyway?

Before we dive into some of the surprising snacks that are scarier to oral health than candy, it’s important to take a look at why sugar is such a concern. When we eat foods or drink beverages with high sugar content we essentially feed the bacteria that live in our mouths. This bacteria then releases an acid as a byproduct of their feasting. The acid is what contributes to decay and cavities as it wears away the protective tooth enamel, leaving teeth exposed to bacteria and more acid.

Other Spooky Snacks

While candy will always be one of those things that your dentist in Georgetown will encourage you to eat in moderation, there are other snacks that are also a concern.

Citrus & Dried Fruits

These are surprising treats that can be dangerous for your grin but usually fall under the healthy category. It is fruit, after all. But certain fruits are highly acidic, and as we know, acid is bad for teeth. Citrus fruits such as grapefruit will quite literally eat away tooth enamel and leave teeth at risk. Dried fruit is also a healthy snack that’s not so great for your smile. These super sticky fruits can get stuck on teeth and are loaded with sugar. The longer the sugar is left around, the more the bacteria will eat it, and more acid is produced.

Crackers & Chips

Chips and crackers are perhaps more surprising that fruits as cavity-causing treats. Even though these foods aren’t sweet and don’t typically contain a lot of sugar, if any, they can still be a threat to oral health. Blame it on the high starch content. These starches affect your body similarly to the way sugar does. This is due to their high glycemic index. Foods with a high glycemic index will increase blood glucose and will feed bacteria in the mouth, just like sugar. The result is more food for the bacteria, more acidic byproduct, and more risk for cavities.

Do Your Part to Limit Your Risk of Decay

We’re not here to tell you to completely avoid candy this Halloween, or to quit eating certain fruits, chips, and crackers forever. Like anything, these things can be enjoyed in moderation. But our Georgetown dental office does encourage you to also drink plenty of water when snacking on foods that are known to increase the risk of decay. Most of all, have a happy and safe Halloween!

Let’s Talk Tech

medical technologyWe don’t normally toot our own horn when it comes to technology. But in talking with several new patients who came from practices that seemed archaic (their word) by comparison, we thought we might take a moment to share how our Georgetown dental office stays on the leading edge of technology, both for your comfort and convenience, and also to help the environment.

No Goopy Impressions

Most of us have not so fond memories of having to get a dental impression made – that weird goopy stuff on the tray that you have to keep ever so still in your mouth and try not to gag on? And if you move? OH, big trouble – that means you need to do it all over again to get the impression correct.

That scenario is a thing of the past in our office. We use an intraoral digital scanner to create full color, 3D impressions of your teeth using a tool that looks a bit like a big pen. It takes over 3,000 images per second for the most accurate imagery possible, which means we can get the exact specifications of your mouth and teeth (even the color!) before we create a restoration.

Same Day Crowns

Speaking of restorations, we use CAD/CAM technology to mill porcelain crowns right here in our office, which means you can fix a broken tooth with a new crown in one single visit. That sure beats having to wait for a lab to send something back that might not be correct, taking up time and affecting your confidence!

Safe Removal of Amalgam

You’ll hear us talk a lot about both the health and environmental hazards of amalgam (metal) fillings. A lot of practices remove metal fillings and allow those little bits of toxic metal to go right down the sink into the water supply. Not us! We use an amalgam separator to keep every minute particle of amalgam from getting into the wastewater supply and sewer system.

And Yes, We’ve Got Lasers

No, we’re not playing laser-tag in the office…. although that does sound like a lot of fun. Your Georgetown dentist uses a tool that combines laser technology and the power of water to perform a number of dental procedures without anesthetics or drills. It’s super precise, so it means removing less amounts of healthy tooth when fixing a cavity, and the continuous spray of water keeps the tooth hydrated, which reduces heat and possible pain.

We strive to keep on the very cutting edge of technology at our Georgetown dental office so that our patients can receive the safest, most precise  and efficient treatments possible, while still holding to our ideals of protecting Mother Earth. Do you have questions about our tech? Ask us to show you how our tools work during your next appointment!