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Dr. George Strickland and our dedicated team in Venice, Florida, are pleased to help you increase your smile health. We know you work hard every day to achieve and maintain your healthy smile, but there are a couple of tips you can follow that will boost your efforts. Incorporate the following into your daily brushing and flossing regimen:

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.

Why is this? 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.

This holiday season, consider implementing a healthier sweets-eating strategy along with maintaining proper saliva levels, and you will be on track for a healthy, confident smile. Remember to have your teeth cleaned every six months, and if it is that time of the year, come in and get on the calendar by calling 941-451-7059. Dr. George Strickland and our team in Venice, Florida, wish you a healthy Thanksgiving!