Dentists share tips to protect pearly whites this Easter

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Easter is fast approaching and for many, the highlight of the weekend will be unwrapping shiny foil to reveal decadent chocolate eggs.

While it’s wonderful to be able to treat ourselves once in a while, dentists are encouraging the public to take good care of their teeth and gums this Easter. The team from Portman Dental Care is urging people to minimise the impact of Easter celebrations by following a few simple steps.

Catherine Tannahill, director, urges parents and relatives to consider swapping edible treats for small toys or gifts such as books and to limit the intake of chocolate and sweets. For those who are keen to indulge a sweet tooth, it’s hugely beneficial to eat chocolate bars and eggs as part of a meal and to wait at least 45-60 minutes before brushing the teeth. It’s also important to avoid grazing throughout the day and to ensure children brush twice a day.

One of the most crucial guidelines to follow is avoiding snacking between meals. This is because bacteria in the mouth feed when we eat. This triggers the production and release of acids, which attack the enamel, temporarily weakening it. It takes time for the enamel to remineralise. The tooth enamel can only withstand a small number of acid attacks per day. If you snack all day, especially on sweet foods, the enamel has no chance to recover and it will be susceptible to damage and acid erosion. It’s best to eat a chocolate egg straight after a meal and then wait until the next mealtime to eat again.

Ms Tannahill is particularly keen to encourage parents and carers to follow dental advice this year, as statistics show that most people haven’t seen a dentist for several months due to the pandemic.

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