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Valentine’s Day comes in fourth when it comes to the consumption of candy (Halloween is first followed by Easter and then Christmas). 58 million pounds of chocolate is sold the week of Valentine’s Day. So what is a dental care conscious person to do? Here are just a few tips to enjoy the holiday with someone you love.

  • Go for dark! Dark chocolate has many health benefits and is an antioxidant super food. Some studies from Japan, England, and the U.S. support the fact that chocolate is effective at fighting cavities, plaque, and tooth decay. (See our blog Chocolate More Effective Than Fluoride)
  • Moderation is key. As with most things in life, moderation can be key in your dental health and overall health. Enjoy a dessert or a few pieces of candy, but know when to stop and limit the frequency you consume it.
  • Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day and after each meal if possible.
  • Flossing is important to keeping gums healthy. Make it habit each day.
  • Avoid regular consumption of sugary and acid laden foods such as sodas, sports drinks and candy. Again moderation is key.
  • Enjoy an occasional piece of gum or breath mint if it contains Xylitol which has been proven to reduce tooth decay. Just don’t chew that gum too long as it can exasperate TMJ symptoms.
  • Always drink plenty of water and if you can’t brush, try rinsing with water after meals. This helps rinse away food particles and staying hydrated is great for fresh breath.
  • Of course, see your dentist for cleanings on a regular basis and call immediately if you have any pain or suspect a problem with your oral health.

For some healthy ideas for Tooth-Friendly Treats for Valentine’s Day visit our Pinterest Board http://www.pinterest.com/smilesdental/tooth-friendly-treats/

Article written by Dr. Cheryl Cooper, Smiles Dental Salem

Dr. Cheryl Cooper is a seasoned dental professional with 19 years of experience and practices at Smiles Dental Salem. She completed her dental degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and then completed her Advance Education in General Dentistry residency at the University of Nebraska. She, her husband Sean and their two boys reside in Salem, OR and are active in Boy Scouts and at the Salem First Christian Church.