It’s that sweet time of year again with the holiday season in full swing. Gingerbread cookies, hot chocolate, eggnog, candy canes and lots of other sweet treats mark this time of year! There are office treats, parties, and family get-togethers where sweet candy with an abundance of sugar will make it difficult to fight temptation. Everyone knows that sugar is bad for your teeth, so how do you keep your teeth healthy during the Holidays? You can enjoy seasonal sweets and still have a cavity-free smile to flash in holiday photos. After all, ‘tis the season for giving, so don’t forget to give yourself the gift of a healthy smile!
Make sure you follow these simple tips to guard against the damage of holiday treats this season:
Brushing and Flossing
As your parents and dentist have told you since you were a child, brushing and flossing are important aspects of your oral healthcare routine. Along with regular dental appointments, these are the not-so-secret mandates to keeping your teeth healthy for life. Even though you will be spending nights out late, taking a break from your regular oral heath routine is the worst thing you can do! Your teeth are more likely to suffer some type of decay if they are exposed to sugar for long periods of time. If you will be increasing the amount of sugar intake during the holidays, try to increase the number of times you brush your teeth as well. Keep a small toothbrush and toothpaste in your purse at all times and brush your teeth thoroughly after every sweet treat.
Believe it or not, when you eat sugary treats is just as important a factor as what you eat. If you are going to indulge in holiday treats, do so at mealtime instead of between meals! Eating between meals means that your teeth are exposed to sugar for a longer period of time and won’t be able to catch a break. Satisfying your sweet tooth after meals can help reduce teeth damage as there is more saliva produced which helps protect your teeth. If you are going to be snacking between meals, instead of choosing chocolate and candies, opt for snacks that are low in sugar. Nuts, seeds, and popcorn are some great alternatives.
Pass on Chewy and Hard Treats
With so many treats to choose from during the holidays, try to avoid chewy and hard sweets such as taffy and caramel. These candies harm your teeth by sticking to your tooth enamel and increasing the amount of time your teeth are exposed to sugar. They can also yank out fillings and lead to cracked or chipped teeth. Ouch! Avoid the stress these treats put on your teeth by decreasing or completely eliminating them from your diet.
H20 is Your Friend
Increasing the intake of water during the holiday season will help rinse your mouth from all those sugary substances. Avoid sugary and fizzy drinks that contain a substantial amount of sugar, and sip on water or enjoy a variety of fruit instead. If you are going to be drinking alcohol, remember that red wine will stain your teeth. Choose white wine instead and accompany it with a glass of water to help wash away harmful acids. As a last step, chew on sugar-free gum to promote saliva production and help remove stuck food particles.
Book Your Next Cleaning
We know that as much as you love your dentist, you would rather spend your holiday season with your friends and family than in the dentist’s office. The holidays are a busy time with everyone focusing on checking off everything on their list. We recommend that you book your future dental appointment now before you get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. With all the candy, chocolate, and alcohol, your teeth will need some extra care. Of course, if you experience any dental emergencies during the holidays, contact your dentist as soon as possible to have the situation taken care of.
The holidays are a time of indulgence, and it is almost impossible to not enjoy sugary foods during this time of year. If all you want this holiday season is to keep your two front teeth, or all your pearly whites for that matter, make sure to follow the tips outlined above. With some thought and preparation, it is easy to maintain a healthy mouth during the holidays. We, at Oakville Place Dental Office, would like to wish you and your family a happy holiday season and the best dental health possible. We cannot wait to see your happy, healthy smiles in 2016!