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At Rice Dentistry of Nellysford in Nellysford, Virginia, Dr. Jennifer Rice and Dr. James Rice are happy to share some healthy smile tips with you so you can show your smile some love this Thanksgiving.

#1 Saliva Production

While plaque–the bacteria that sticks to the teeth and releases acid that wears down tooth enamel–is responsible for causing tooth decay, saliva helps rinse away bacteria and neutralizes the acid. In this sense, saliva acts like a disinfecting cavity fighter. But if you have dry mouth, whether from illness, medication, or unhealthy habits, you want to increase your saliva production.

To help stimulate sufficient saliva production, drink plenty of water, chew sugar-free gum or mints, and snack on crisp vegetables. Our dentist may also prescribe artificial saliva if necessary.

#2 Planned Snacks

The more often you consume sugar (feeding the bacteria in plaque) the more acids coat your tooth enamel for longer periods. Because of this, it is better to have a slice of cheesecake with a meal rather than snack on chips or chocolate throughout the day.

It takes about 20 minutes to clear sugar from your mouth before it is neutralized. During that 20-minute time period, the bacteria convert the sugar to acid where they are busy attacking your teeth and demineralizing the enamel. Snacking all day keeps this process going on long enough to result in tooth decay, over time. This is why you want to brush and floss the bacteria away daily.

This holiday season, take some time to show your smile some love. Maintain your daily brushing and flossing routine and come in for your bi-annual checkup with Dr. Jennifer Rice or Dr. James Rice if you haven’t already. Please call 434-218-7020 and we will get you on the calendar.

At Rice Dentistry of Nellysford in Nellysford, Virginia, we wish you and your loved ones a healthy, smile-filled Thanksgiving!