This past Saturday might have led to a bit of indulgence thanks to Valentine’s Day (a Hallmark holiday if there ever was one). Chocolate was consumed in mass quantities. Greeting cards flooded post offices. Flowers were delivered to desks, offices, apartments, houses, and schools. The colors red and pink could not be avoided. While we love any excuse to celebrate love and affection, the sweetness of this particular holiday has detrimental effects on our teeth. Nobody wants to deal with poor oral hygiene when there are so many kisses, hugs, and smiles going around.


Excess sugar from chocolate can bring on tooth decay and cavities. Milk and dark chocolate may be what you or your loved one craves, but the sugars and refined carbohydrates that comprise chocolate should be limited in their consumption. Why would anybody want to limit their intake of chocolate? It’s quite simple: to prevent a disease known as tooth decay (a non-infectious disease, but still a disease). This ailment runs rampant in America, where sugar makes up more of our diet than it should. Want less of a chance to develop tooth decay? Cut back on sugar intake.


It’s perfectly reasonable to satisfy your sweet tooth every once in a while and Valentine’s Day is a great time to do it. Who doesn’t love a fancy Godiva or Lindt chocolate? What you want to stay far away from is soda and fruit juice. Both beverages are a major source of sugar. No amount of fluoride in toothpaste or mouthwash is going to stop tooth decay from happening if an unhealthy amount of sugar is included in your daily diet. The days add up to weeks, which add up to months, then years. As life goes on, sugar consumed every day will cause cavities.


Keep in mind that not all sugars are dangerous. Those that are found naturally in foods like fruit and milk are fine. Go ahead and keep those in your daily diet. Note that honey, dried fruit, and juice contain tooth decay-causing sugars. We all have bacteria in our mouths at all times. However, when too much bacteria from leftover food and drink particles are left behind, plaque forms on the surface of your teeth. Upon eating a cookie or drinking a caramel latte, the bacteria in the plaque ingest the sugar, turning it into acid. The acid then works hard to break down the enamel covering each tooth, which is how a cavity begins to form.


If you have a sweet tooth and tend to consume sugar on a regular basis versus only on holidays like Valentine’s Day, call Chicago’s Sugar Fix Dental Loft.  Schedule a consultation with Dr. Brittany Dickinson to have your teeth checked for possible signs of tooth decay or cavities. It’s never too late to put an end to bad habits and help fight disease. Remember that eating and drinking less sugar means fewer bacteria hanging around in your mouth. The fewer bacteria present, the less acid can be produced. You’ll have a better chance of keeping your original tooth enamel when there is hardly any acid being made in your mouth.