Consuming an excess of sugar and acidic beverages are some of the worst things you can do when it comes to the health of your teeth and keeping cavities at bay. With Valentine’s Day coming up, it’s easy to get caught up in the romance without thinking about your oral health.
Here are some tips to keep your teeth beautiful this V-Day season!
It’s no secret that chocolate is a fairly common Valentine’s Day gift, but a good idea would be to consider dark chocolate over other forms of chocolate, as dark chocolate typically contains less sugar and more cocoa and antioxidants than milk chocolate and white chocolate. There are compounds found in dark chocolate called polyphenols which contain antibacterial properties that have been shown to harden tooth enamel. Dark chocolate also has something called flavonoids (that are also abundant in berries and citrus fruits), which also help prevent cavities and tooth decay . The higher the cocoa content the better, although it may have a different, slightly more bitter taste than you are used to!
While wine and champagne may be a sure-fire Valentine’s Day staple, they can be quite acidic on your teeth, although “White wine is more acidic than red and is therefore more efficient at destroying your enamel, leaving you more susceptible to discoloration and staining,” explains Dr. Angelika Shein, a New York-based dentist.  However, if you must have it, one should adopt a good habit of taking sips of water afterwards as water has a neutral pH and will help wash some of the acid away from your teeth. Also, a good tip is to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after consuming any acidic beverage, pop included, as abrasive brushing can worsen the effects of acid erosion. 
No one wants stinky breath on Valentine’s Day. Chewing gum is a great way to keep your breath smelling minty fresh. Chewing sugar-free gum containing xylitol has been “shown to reduce tooth decay and the incidence of gum disease. Xylitol’s molecular structure slows the growth of S. mutans on the tooth surfaces, stops the production of tooth decay-causing acid and neutralizes the pH level in saliva and plaque.” 
It’s no surprise that smoking is bad for the health of your teeth and overall health – people who use tobacco are twice as likely to get gum disease as someone who doesn’t smoke. Smokers are also at risk for oral cancer. 
While it’s imperative to follow a twice-daily brushing and flossing regimen, all that candy and chocolate shouldn’t be a problem. A disciplined and easy-to-follow dental care routine is always the best protection against candy on Valentine’s Day, or any other sugar-filled holiday! However, if you find you are in need of a thorough cleaning and checkup after all those sweets, don’t hesitate to make an appointment at Simpli Dental at either our Regina and Saskatoon offices today.
Featured image by Toothonomics.
 Dr. Dental
 Glow Dentistry