Keep your teeth healthy during the holidays
The holidays are here! Food, family, and fun are just around the corner. Apple pie, pumpkin pie, sugar cookies, fudge, hot chocolate, you name it! With all of this sugary goodness, how can you protect your teeth and still enjoy the holidays?
In this blog, we will examine different strategies for protecting your teeth during the holidays.
Eat your sugary snacks with your meal
It is easy to snack throughout the holidays. Both Thanksgiving and Christmas offer not only the opportunity to feast, but also feature many sugary delicacies like candies, cakes, and pies. Coupled with sugary beverages such as soda and eggnog, it can be a veritable assault on your teeth. Diets rich in sugary foods and drinks put your teeth at risk for cavities and gum disease.
During the holidays it is often easier said than done, to resist sugary snacks, but you don’t have to abstain from delicious treats altogether.
The best way to minimize the damage sugar causes to your teeth is to eat snacks with your meal.
As you eat, your saliva works to move food to your stomach. Regular eating does this, but with snacks, it is more likely that some of the fine particulates can hang around causing damage to your tooth enamel leading to cavities. This is why it is important to combine your bigger meals with snacks to create excess saliva that will wash down those fine particulates.
Drink water with your meals
Hydration is the key to a healthy lifestyle. Not only has drinking water with your meals been shown to reduce cravings, but it is critical to minimize the amount of sugar that lingers after a meal.
Water helps wash particulate matter away. Water dilutes acidity and washes away harmful bacteria and food debris that can lead to cavities. Sugary beverages such as soda and fruit juices contain high amounts of sugar and sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup. As such while the act of drinking may move some sugars to your stomach, it is replaced with others.
Acidic drinks such as soda can also wear away the enamel of your teeth exacerbating tooth decay.
Maintain your brushing habits
Don’t forget your toothbrush when you’re packing for your trip. Packing your brush along with travel-sized floss and toothpaste is essential during your trip.
Brushing your first thing in the morning and the last thing at night is a quick and easy way to eliminate harmful bacteria and sugars. Flossing once per day will also get to those hard-to-reach places where food and other particulates like to hide.
This simple process takes less than five minutes but ensures that your teeth and gums will be healthy for decades to come. Also, maintaining that regular brushing and flossing habits helps you stay in a rhythm even when you are traveling or vacationing.
Try to avoid hard candies
Hard candies, in addition to their high sugar content, can also present additional risks to your teeth. These types of food can potentially damage the enamel when chewing as well as present a risk of dislodging fillings.
This is especially a risk if you have sensitive, brittle, or damaged teeth. Be wary of candy canes, crunchy Christmas cookies, peanut brittle, caramel, and fruitcakes.
Did someone say broccoli?
Fresh vegetables are staples of a good potluck dinner. A diverse vegetable tray filled with broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots is not only delicious, but they are also great for your teeth. Crunchy vegetables possess natural teeth-cleaning abilities as they stimulate the flow of saliva which helps scrub away food particles and bacteria.
The same is also true for delicious fruits such as strawberries, apples, and kiwis.
You can also give your salad an extra pep by adding a variety of green, leafy vegetables into the mix. Fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro, and mint are excellent plaque fighters and can stop harmful bacteria in your mouth.
Lastly, say yes to cheese. Cheese possesses natural cavity-fighting agents as well as minerals like calcium which help maintain strong teeth. Cheese also helps balance the PH in your mouth and preserves your teeth’s enamel.
Don’t forget to call us every six months
Access Dental & Orthodontics is serious about helping you maintain optimal dental health and keep your smile healthy and bright all the years of your life.
In addition to the steps that we’ve outlined today, you must keep up to date with your regularly scheduled exams.
Not only does this help us detect any changes and problem areas in your teeth, but we can also provide a thorough cleaning that will help you maximize your dental health.