Christmas is a season of joy and festivities. Along with the celebrations come sweet treats which we cannot resist. With all the sugar, carb, and fat-filled meals and treats, your teeth will be more prone to cavities and decay. Here are some easy tips that will help keep your teeth healthy this season.
Oral health is closely linked to your general health, but people tend to neglect the health of their mouth while they’re enjoying all that the season has to offer. That being said, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene habits during the holiday season. In fact, it’s even more important to practice healthy oral care habits this time of year because so many people are indulging in sugary treats that can harm the teeth when consumed too often or too fast. Since there is such an abundance of food available during the holidays, people also tend to eat much more quickly than they normally would. By taking the time to brush your teeth and floss after each meal, you can protect your teeth from damage.
It is especially important to brush and floss your teeth after eating foods high in sugar when you plan to eat other foods soon afterward. The bacteria on your teeth will feed on the sugars left in your mouth and then produce an acid byproduct that can erode tooth enamel and cause cavities. If you’re going to be eating sweet foods throughout the holiday season, make sure you wait at least an hour before eating other foods, so your mouth has plenty of time to recover. Otherwise, the acids produced by bacteria can damage your teeth to the point where they develop a cavity.
Chewing sugar-free gum can also help if you find it difficult to resist the urge to snack. But be sure to choose gum with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Gums with the ADA seal have been scientifically proven to reduce plaque acids by up to 40% when compared to chewing gums without the seal. So, if you’re concerned about protecting your dental health over the holidays, you may want to consider investing in some ADA-approved gum.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a few treats over the holidays! However, if you’re eating a lot of sugar-filled food, make sure you’re also drinking plenty of water to rinse out your mouth. This will help prevent cavities and decay.
If you’re going to be snacking on sugary foods, try to limit it to only mealtimes. That way, your mouth has time to properly digest food, and you won’t be left feeling uncomfortable or with bad breath. If you can’t kick the habit altogether, consider cutting back on the amount you eat. Over time, your taste buds will adjust to the less-sweet foods, and you won’t crave them as much anymore.
Some of our favorite holiday treats can be very hard on our teeth, such as candy canes, toffee, peanut brittle, and popcorn. Sticky foods such as caramels or taffy can stick to our teeth and cause plaque buildup if not brushed away immediately. Hard foods can break our teeth if we bite down too hard on them. This can lead to the need for restorative dental treatments such as crowns or fillings.
Fortunately, there are ways to enjoy our favorite holiday treats without suffering damage to our teeth. For example, instead of chewing on hard candies, we can eat the candy slowly to allow our saliva to help dissolve it. We can also drink plenty of water after eating these foods to wash away any sugars that may linger around in the mouth. Rinsing with water can also help dislodge food from between our teeth, so it doesn’t get stuck there and cause decay.
Another way to protect your mouth during this season of indulgence is to schedule your next dental cleaning before the holidays begin. Having your teeth cleaned by your dentist will remove any plaque or tartar that may have built up since your last visit and help prevent tooth decay from occurring. Contact a dentist near you to schedule a consultation for a dental cleaning today!
To learn more, visit Dental Health PC at 869 NW 23rd Street, Corvallis, OR 97330. Call us at (541) 757 1829 to book an appointment. We will be happy to help you further.