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At Christiansburg Dental in Christiansburg, Virginia, Dr. Miller Lewis and Dr. Priyanka Dutt want to share some healthy smile tips just in time for you to navigate the holidays. We know you work hard all year to maintain your beautiful smile, and there’s no need to let the holidays undo your efforts. Along with your diligent daily oral care routine, incorporate these tips and see the smile difference!

Saliva Production

The first line of defense in your mouth is your saliva, as it acts like a disinfecting cavity fighter. Plaque–the bacteria that sticks to the teeth and releases acid that wears down tooth enamel–is responsible for causing tooth decay. Saliva helps rinse away bacteria and neutralizes the acid. If you have dry mouth, whether from illness, medication, or unhealthy habits, you need to increase your saliva for a healthy smile. To help stimulate sufficient saliva production, drink plenty of water, chew sugar-free gum or mints, and snack on crisp vegetables. Our dentist may also prescribe artificial saliva if necessary.

Healthier Eating Strategy

Eating sugar or having a soda with a meal is one thing, but snacking or drinking sugary items all day is destructive. The more often you consume sugar (feeding the bacteria in plaque) the more acids coat your tooth enamel for longer periods. It is better to have a slice of cheesecake with a meal rather than snack on chips or chocolate throughout the day.

It takes about 20 minutes to clear sugar from your mouth before it is neutralized. During that 20-minute time period, the bacteria convert the sugar to acid where they are busy attacking your teeth and demineralizing the enamel. Snacking all day keeps this process going on long enough to result in tooth decay, over time. As teeth continue to soften the end result can be root canals and extracted teeth. This is why you want to brush and floss the bacteria away daily.

As you navigate the holiday festivities, keep an eye on your healthy smile along with your waistline. Your smile is just as important as the rest of you, and it isn’t hard to incorporate these strategic tips for a healthier smile. Step up your daily brushing and flossing and see your dentist if you haven’t had your routine cleaning.

To schedule your next cleaning, call us at 540-257-6995 and get on our calendar. Dr. Miller Lewis and Dr. Priyanka Dutt at Christiansburg Dental in Christiansburg, Virginia, wish you and your loved ones a healthy Thanksgiving!