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  • Late Night Snacking and Braces

  • tooth decay Frankfort orthodontist

    Many of us can admit to giving into a little late night craving once in a while.  And, though we know it does nothing for our waistlines, did you know it is also dangerous for your oral health?  If you wear braces, you increase your potential for tooth decay even more.  As the orthodontist Frankfort patients trust for their smiles and braces, we ask you to think twice before you open the fridge and indulge.

    Tooth Loss

    Denmark researchers found in 2010 that people who snacked after dinner had a higher chance of tooth loss than those that didn’t consume late night snacks.  The risk of tooth loss was a result of tooth decay causing cavities from the lack of brushing after a meal.  People who brushed and flossed after a meal reduced their risk of tooth loss. 

    Bacteria and Saliva

    It is thought that the relationship between midnight snacks and tooth loss is due to how our bodies produce saliva.  Typically, our bodies produce less saliva while we sleep.  Saliva is a necessary part of digestion; helping to breakdown and wash away food.  When you don’t have enough saliva in your mouth, the food stays in the mouth and on your teeth eating away at your enamel and causing tooth decay. 

    Our Frankfort orthodontist adds to that saying, ‘the food that stays on your teeth and between your braces from these evening snacks is a haven for bacteria.’  The bacteria in your mouth interact with the sugar left behind on your teeth and damages tooth enamel.

    Healthier Smiles

    To mitigate your risk of tooth decay and tooth loss our Frankfort orthodontist suggests these tips:

    1.  Brush and floss after dinner so that you are less likely to want more to eat.  This also refreshes your mouth and leaves it feeling clean.
    2. Don’t eat or drink before bedtime.  Our bodies need time to digest food and burn off the energy it creates.  Drinking water is okay and good for you.
    3. Opt for healthier snacks.  If you must eat, avoid the sugary, carb-loaded snacks.  Try an apple or carrot.

    The sugars from the foods we eat love to make their home on your teeth.  If you wear braces, there are even more places for food and bacteria to hide.  Keep your smile looking great with proper oral hygiene and by avoiding the late-night cravings.  For more oral health topics, visit us on Facebook or give our office a call to discuss your oral health and braces; we’re happy to help.