Dental, HEALTH

Tooth decay: 50% is out after Christmas

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In the midst of the holiday season, where festivities and sugary treats take centre stage, it is crucial to remember that 50% of tooth decay develops after the festivities.

The mouth is an ecosystem full of bacteria, where some play a beneficial role, but others can be harmful. These bacteria trigger a transformation of sugar into acids, which in turn can attack teeth, damage dental plaque and lead to tooth decay. As a logical consequence, the more sugar or sweets consumed, the greater the acid production, increasing the risk of tooth decay. Dentist Iván Malagón warns that cavities can not only destroy enamel, but also have the potential to cause tooth loss. Dr Malagón warns of the risks associated with excessive sugar consumption during the holidays and the importance of a proper dental hygiene routine.

Christmas Foods and their Consequences

1. Chocolate NougatAlthough delicious, chocolate nougat is rich in sugar. It is recommended to prefer hard nougat, composed mainly of almonds, or to choose dark chocolate with 70% cocoa for its antioxidant properties.

2. Gingerbread CookiesA healthier option due to its lower sugar content. Ginger, with anti-inflammatory properties, benefits oral health and reduces the likelihood of diseases such as gingivitis.

3. MarzipanMarzipan: With a high sugar content and a texture that sticks easily to teeth, marzipan should be eaten in moderation.

4. Roscón de ReyesAlthough the cake itself is not overly sweet, the toppings and filling can make it a dental health risk.

5. Hard CandyThey can fracture teeth and damage fillings and orthodontics.

6. Sour and Sticky Candies: They cause premature enamel wear and gum inflammation problems.

7. Lollipops: They can affect tooth movement and cause bite dysfunctions.

8. Soft Drinks and Sweet Liquids: Excess juice and fizzy drinks wear down the enamel, increasing tooth sensitivity and predisposition to tooth decay.

9. Sugar Free GummiesA healthier option by replacing sugar with sweeteners. Recommended for occasional consumption.

Take care of your Smile during the Holidays

Dr Malagón stresses the importance of toothbrushing after consuming sugary foods. If brushing is not possible, chewing sugarless gum with xylitol after meals may be an alternative. Although it does not replace brushing, sugarless chewing gum with xylitol helps neutralise the acidity of food and has antibacterial effects, contributing to oral health.

"In this festive season, enjoying Christmas delicacies is wonderful, but let's remember to maintain a balance and take care of our dental health," concludes Dr. Iván Malagón.