Tooth Care through the Holidays
The foods you eat during the holiday season can be tough on your teeth. All kinds of hard candies and ooey-gooey treats can cause havoc on your natural teeth and your dental work. The sugar in cookies, cakes, pies, candy, and other goodies you consume throughout the season create a natural byproduct, acid. The continued presence of acid on your teeth will cause your enamel to wear away, leading to painful cavities.
The good news is that you can take steps to maintain your dental health throughout the holidays and not end up sitting in the dentist’s chair in January.
Here are a few holiday don’ts to keep your teeth healthy:
- Don’t crack nuts with your teeth.
- Don’t bite on hard candy.
- Don’t snack on sweets between meals.
- Don’t eat chewy treats, such as caramel and toffee, frequently.
- Don’t open package wrapping with your teeth.
- Don’t chew ice cubes.
- Don’t chew on your fingernails.
And here are the holiday dos to maintain your healthy teeth:
Watch What You Eat
Limit your intake of sweets as much as possible. Sometimes just a taste of something is enough to satisfy a craving. Balance your diet with fruits, vegetables, and meats. Because your body processes carbohydrates as sugar, foods higher in sugar and carbs can wreak havoc on your teeth. (And make you gain weight!)
Stickier foods, such as candy canes and other hard candy, actually stick around longer on your teeth. So, opt for foods, like chocolate, that dissolve quicker. In addition, biting on hard candy or ice cubes can cause a tooth to chip or break—which will surely send you to the dentist’s chair.
We recommend that you brush your teeth twice daily: once in the morning and once in the evening. It’s important that you maintain this care regimen through the holiday season. You may also want to brush three times a day, adding a tooth brushing in the middle of the day to combat plaque and the effects of sugar on your teeth.
If you consume acidic foods or beverages, such as oranges, lemon, and wine, wait 30 minutes before brushing. Acidic foods and drinks can soften your enamel, so brushing too soon after eating can damage your teeth.
If you can’t brush as often as you’d like, at least rinse occasionally with water. And floss your teeth at least once or twice daily to help prevent cavities from forming in between your teeth.
Handle Any Tooth Care Problems Now
If you are already suffering from a tooth issue, we encourage you to visit us and take care of the problem now. Have any existing cavities filled and schedule your teeth cleaning. Once your tooth care issue is resolved, you can enjoy the holidays with comfort and ease.
Have a Happy Holiday!