Dental Tips | 06 April, 2020

Egg-ucational dental tips this Easter

There’s nothing wrong with indulging in a bit of Easter chocolate this Easter weekend, in fact, a little bit of chocolate can actually be beneficial to your teeth!

However too much of the sweet stuff isn't just bad for your oral health, it isn’t exactly great for your overall health and well-being either.

Here's our advice to get your teeth through Easter:

Go for dark

Look for the chocolate that has a high cocoa percentage (over 70% is best). Cocoa beans contain tannins, polyphenols, and flavonoids, each of which is a type of strong antioxidant that benefits your mouth and teeth. Tannins are what give dark chocolate it’s slightly bitter taste and are responsible for the sweet’s dark pigments. More importantly, they help prevent cavities by inhibiting bacteria from sticking to your teeth. Polyphenols limit the effects of bacteria, meaning they work to neutralize the microorganisms that cause bad breath, prevent infections in your gums and battle tooth decay. Flavonoids work to slow tooth decay, among other things. Try to avoid white chocolate – white chocolate has a particularly high sugar content.

Hollow over filled

Eating chocolate of the hollow kind means you are limiting sugar intake. Whether that be an egg, bunny, duck – go hollow if you’re concerned for your teeth.

Avoid gooey, sticky, chewy

Gummies, sticky sweets or caramels are some of the worst treats for teeth. Not only are they packed full of sugar, but they also take longer to chew so teeth become coated in the stuff. The texture also often means bits and pieces get stuck in and wedged in. The more sugar left on teeth – the higher the chance of cavities.

Limit your egg intake

As tempting as it is to over-indulge on all the chocolate goodness this Easter weekend it’s a good idea to reduce the amount of eggs hidden during the Easter egg hunt. 

Try to avoid grazing on chocolate all day and limit consumption to certain times. Tooth decay occurs when plaque meets sugar. Saliva naturally protects our mouth from such attacks by flushing the acid away along with any built-up bacteria. Although, to do so our mouth needs a break from constant snacking.

Wash down chocolate with water

If you feel like you've had too much chocolate, wash it down with some water. Drinking water after you’ve had chocolate will help to wash away any built-up sugars left in your mouth. Sip on water throughout the day to help your mouth neutralise acid attacks.

Alternatives to chocolate?

Chocolate doesn’t need to be the star of the show! There’s plenty of alternatives to giving and eating chocolate at Easter – think arts and crafts, flowers, small toys…an egg hunt, egg painting. There’s plenty of other ways to make someone happy!

Keep up your oral hygiene routine

We all know to brush twice a day – don’t let your routine slip if you’re out of your normal day to day routine. If you have children, it’s especially important to reiterate this to them at Easter time.

Don't brush too soon

Even though you might be tempted to brush your teeth straight after eating chocolate, you should hold off brushing for at least 30 minutes after eating your eggs. After eating there is about a 30-minute window of acid invasion in your mouth. It’s recommended you don’t brush during this period as you are potentially brushing the acid into your teeth and removing demineralised enamel from the surface of your teeth.