Nothing says “I love you” like a cavity. You will never see this sentiment written as a Valentine’s greeting, but that’s what I read when I look inside the mouths of patients who routinely overdose on sugar.
Valentine’s Day is another one of our national holidays which promote the over consumption of sugar. We are barely detoxed from the excesses of the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year holidays before there’s a push by advertisers to buy sweet heart shaped every things and anythings. From chocolates to lollipops to hard candies and gummy bears, we are bombarded with Valentine’s day sugars.
A heart shaped box of caramels and other sugary sticky treats have long been an American tradition. It’s estimated well over 35 million heart shaped boxes of candy loaded with sugar are sold in February each year. Isn’t that shocking?!
There are a number of sugar free candies made with xylitol that are delicious alternatives. I promise you will not feel deprived at all. However, if you sense you will feel you are missing out if you don’t allow yourself a chocolate, then choose wisely. A small piece of dark chocolate can actually provide a health boost as dark chocolate is laden with antioxidants. Darker chocolates typically do not stick to the surfaces of the teeth either.
Should you and your sweetheart find you can’t bear being apart from one another’s chocolates, then make a lover’s vow in advance of your candy celebration to brush and floss immediately after you’ve enjoyed your sweet treats. I recommend to my patients that they use oral irrigation flossers, which are proven more effective than string floss alone. The electric flossers literally wash away much of the sugary substances left behind on your teeth.
If you are unable to brush and floss straight away, then rinse the sugar’s residue from your teeth. No matter how good your mouthwash tastes, chasing your oral rinse with another chocolate caramels is a sour proposition, so you might be less likely to eat another truffle.
And if you can’t get your partner join you in ‘his and her’ brushing then give yourself some self-love by insisting on taking care of your teeth and mouth before carrying on with the rest of your evening.
So if you want that piece of candy, go ahead and eat it. Don’t be too hard on yourself or your true love for either of you giving into the temptation, as long as it’s in moderation.Those negative thoughts of ‘I’m bad for having this’ are often more detrimental to our health than having that piece of candy.
In great health,