How to Enjoy Holiday Treats and Protect Your Teeth
We all know that during the holiday season our favorite treats are everywhere. The special holiday cookies, candy, and sugary desserts are part of the holiday traditions we anticipate and enjoy. Even though sugary foods can damage your teeth, you can still enjoy holiday treats. Here’s how to protect your teeth from the extra sugar.
Why is sugar bad for teeth? The sweet sticky residue provides a rich growing medium for the bacteria that cause cavities. But you can avoid cavities with these simple tips for good holiday oral care:
Things You Should Try to Avoid
- Sticky Foods. Sweet foods that take a long time to chew- gummy candies, dried fruit, and even caramel- can hold an acid against the teeth longer than most other foods. You can prevent cavities by limiting the amount you eat of these foods.
- Stress. For some, the holidays are full of stress and anxiety. The result of holiday stress may be incidents of grinding or clenching the teeth, causing immense jaw pain and headaches.
Things You Can Add to Your Oral Care Routine
- Water. Want to reduce the staining from wines and fruit juices? Rinse your teeth with water after drinking those favorite holiday beverages and before you start to brush them. Rinsing will wash away acid and any stains that have built up.
- Sugar-free gum. Chewing gum produces natural saliva to help balance acid in your mouth. A bonus is that chewing sugar-free gum will help your breath smell fresh.
Things You Should Do More Frequently
- Brushing. During the holidays, carry a travel size toothbrush with you and brush more often throughout the day. Brush your teeth right after holiday parties or sharing office treats, and celebration meals with family and friends. The natural sweetness of the toothpaste helps the body when it is craving something sweet. You are less likely to eat after you brush your teeth.
- Flossing. The holidays are a time when dentists recommend extra flossing. For convenience, floss picks are portable and easy to use just about any time or anywhere.
You can enjoy your holiday season with all the traditional treats. Just use these oral care tips and get your regularly scheduled dental cleanings and exams. If you have any problems contact us for an appointment.
Remember, healthy teeth make a healthy smile!
Dr. Nishan Halim
Nishan Halim, DMD specializes in adult and pediatric restorative and cosmetic dentistry, as well as preventive dentistry, which is at the heart of this Capitol Hill, Washington DC neighborhood dental center. Contact Dr. Halim to schedule an appointment. Find out how he can help you maintain your healthy smile.