Valentine’s Day is coming and you know what that means! Well okay it is technically a romantic holiday, but it is also one with plenty of candy and sweets. From heart shaped boxes filled with chocolate to lip shaped lollipops, these treats are everywhere during the holiday season. However, if you are wearing dentures, this holiday may bring on a whole different and unpleasant meaning.
Most dental professionals discourage eating candy or sweets in general. Beyond their empty calories, the sugar residue can be quite harmful for your oral cavity, whether you have full or partial dentures. However, if you are determined to enjoy the occasional sweet, then there are a few things you should consider.
Chewing with dentures requires working away at food on both sides of your mouth at the same time. Biting down on only one side could end up dislodging the denture or lead to sore spots on the gum.
That also means:
-Avoiding hard candies that may shatter into small pieces and end up lodging themselves between the denture and gum. Not only is this incredibility painful, but can lead to serious irritation.
-Avoid any candies that are sticky such as caramels or tootsie rolls. Not only are they challenging to chew, but tiny particles of candy residue could get caught on the upper part of your denture, disengaging suction with the roof of your mouth and cause slippage.
However, this doesn’t mean that you have to swear off sweets just for wearing dentures!
-Sugarless gum is a wonderful choice that helps you fight off the sweet craving. Chewing gum also increases saliva production and leads to a moister mouth, which is great for avoiding loose dentures, irritations, sores and possibly infections.
-Soft dark chocolate without nuts is also a good choice! Partial denture wearers can feel confident knowing that chocolate contains a compound that helps to harden tooth enamel. In fact, the compounds found in cocoa beans has also been proven to have an antibacterial effect that helps fight plaque and keep your remaining teeth.
What happens if you end up going on a candy or chocolate binge?
-Believe it or not, dental professionals recommend that chocolate or candy be eaten all at once or during only at a single point each day after than having a little bit over time. Sugar from the candy and chocolate that lingers in your mouth can easily lead to tooth decay or gum disease.
-If you are going to eat or binge on candy, try to do it with meals. You will be experiencing more saliva production at the time which will also reduce the amount of sugar left on your teeth.
-Make sure to drink plenty of water too! Though you should do this anyway, if you have been hitting the sweets a lot drinking water can help remove excess sugar residue that may still be on your teeth and gums.
So if you choose to enjoy some valentine sweets this holiday season, make sure to choose your candy wisely and keep up with good denture hygiene!