Holiday Dental Tips That Will Protect Your Smile

 In Family Dentistry

The holidays are for spending quality time with family and friends while reflecting on all of the things that you’re grateful for in life.  And, of course, it’s a time that we all look forward to stuffing our faces with delicious feasts! But, all of the excitement can mean lax dental care for some, so we’d like to remind you and your loved ones to take care of your oral health this holiday season.  After all, the last thing you want to have to deal with this is a cavity!

So, to help keep your smile shining bright, here are a few tips to keep your oral health in top shape:  

  • Brush and Floss – You must be especially diligent about your oral hygiene routine around the holidays.  It’s best to always brush and floss thirty minutes after you’ve finished eating, so if you’re going out of town to meet family or friends, don’t be afraid to pack a toothbrush and floss.  
  • Watch the Sugar – From the pies to the marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes, holidays are full of sugary sweet treats.  But, aside from satisfying a momentary craving, it’s important to remember that all of that sugar ends up coating your teeth, fueling cavity-causing bacteria growth.  So, while you’re cooking, consider cutting down on the sugar or opting for sugar substitutes. And, don’t forget to brush your teeth!
  • Watch the Starches – Some of those favorite holiday sides, like stuffing and cornbread, may be delicious, but they’re also filled with starch which feeds any acid-producing bacteria in the same way that sugar does.  So, be sure to have a well-balanced meal on your plate.
  • Watch Enamel Stains – All of those inviting colors might look nice on the dinner table, but remember that they can also leave your enamel looking dull.  So, cut down on the red wines, coffee, and cranberry sauces, even those berry pies that could stain your teeth. And, if you do indulge a bit, you may want to consider scheduling a post-holiday cleaning with your dentist.  
  • Watch the Acid – Be sure to guard your enamel against acid wear from things like cranberry juice and wine.  Acid wear makes your teeth more vulnerable to decay, so it’s best to avoid acidic foods and drinks any time of year.  But, if you absolutely can’t do without them, at least try to lessen their impact by drinking water after and eating other foods.    
  • Hydrate – Proper hydration is essential to maintaining your overall health, but it’s especially important when eating lots of sweet or rich foods.  By drinking more water, you can help wash away debris in your mouth and prevent plaque buildup. Hydration also helps improve your saliva flow, which helps fight cavities.  

The holidays can be tough on your teeth, so keep these basic practices in mind as you enjoy your feast. And, remember to be thankful for your dental health this holiday season, and schedule a post-holiday cleaning, today. 

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