If you like to burn the midnight oil in December with holiday parties, tend to nibble on a few of the cookies that you’re leaving out for Santa, or are a night eater no matter what time of the year, you should be aware of the cavity-inducing sucrose in your munchies. The  Woodcrest, CA dentists at Riverside Dental Group understand the temptations of all of the delicious treats this time of year. If you’re having trouble sleeping and your stomach is growling, it’s ever tempting to reach for a plate of cheese and crackers, cookies, candy, or an extra slice of that apple pie. Be aware, though, that if you drift off to sleep after your midnight snack without brushing your teeth, plaque production will ramp up.

No Sucrose Before you Sleep

If you coated your teeth in sugar, this act in and of itself would not cause cavities. The reason dentists are always preaching against sucrose-laden foods is that sugar feeds the harmful bacteria in your mouth. When certain oral germs get their candy or carb fix late at night, they’ll start to party. These germs produce harmful acid which soaks your teeth and diminishes the strength of your protective tooth enamel. Next, bacteria mix with the acid and food debris in your mouth to produce dental plaque. This sticky biofilm will cling to your teeth and lead to tooth decay if you don’t brush it off regularly.

Beware of Caffeine

If chocolate is a particular temptation of yours, you should be aware that eating too much of this treat before bed can make it all the more difficult to sleep. Chocolate contains caffeine and sugar – a one-two punch for poor sleep quality when consumed close to bedtime. Your body releases cortisol in reaction to caffeine and sucrose, raising your blood sugar levels. To counteract this phenomenon, insulin is released, causing a hypoglycemic state. Sleep is difficult to come by when you’re not feeling relaxed and balanced. Do yourself a favor and avoid any caffeine several hours before bed time.

Dental Checkups with Woodcrest, CA Dentists

You can arrange an appointment with our Riverside dentists by calling our 92504 dentist office at (951) 689-5031. We offer comprehensive dentistry to patients of all ages in Riverside and surrounding areas.