Ah, the holidays. If you’re like the average American, pies, cakes, and sugary treats make up a big portion of your holiday menu during November and December. In addition to these delicious edibles expanding your waistline, they can also do a number on your teeth. This article will help you make sure that you don’t end up at the dentist with a toothache in January. What do all those holiday sugars do to your teeth and how can good oral hygiene help prevent a problem later on?
What Does Sugar Really Do To Your Teeth?
Mouth bacteria love to feast on the sugary foods and drinks that get stuck in your teeth. The bacteria then produce acids, which can wear away tooth enamel. This can create a number of problems, including cavities, gum disease, and gingivitis.
The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests avoiding or limiting sugary treats between meals to help avoid the risk of cavities later on. In December, it’s easier to be tempted by sugary snacks because it seems like every office and home is filled with all the best and most delicious treats. It’s hard to strike a balance between enjoying all the holiday foods you’ll be exposed to while taking proper care of your teeth and gums.
Tips for Staying Cavity-Free This Holiday Season
Taking the time to add a few oral hygiene strategies to your holiday snacking habits will help your body cope with the added sugar. Here are a few tips:
- First, make sure you’re snacking not just on sugar, but also on other, more healthy foods to balance your intake of sweets.
- Skip sweets that actually stick to the teeth; trade out that caramel yummy for some dark chocolate, for example.
- Take the time to brush more frequently. Try taking a brush to work or even rinse your mouth with mouthwash after lunch. What if you stored a toothbrush, floss and paste in your car? Nothing wrong with staying prepared, right?
- If you’ve consumed high-acid beverages like wine or food like oranges, actually wait a half hour before brushing. These high acid foods can soften tooth enamel so brushing too soon could actually damage the teeth.
- Drink lots of water, not only to stay hydrated but also to rinse out your mouth.
If you need to know more about the best oral hygiene habits to practice, check out the Top Four Hidden Bad Oral Hygiene Habits.
Regular Check-Ups Mean a Healthy Smile
If you haven’t scheduled your six-month checkup, it’s important to go beyond regular flossing and brushing. Having an oral exam and cleaning is a crucial part of caring for your teeth so they will last through all stages of your life. Deep cleaning your teeth and gums at a hygiene visit, along with a mouth screening by your dentist is an important part of your oral and overall health.
New Year’s Resolutions at Dr. Hadley’s
If you like to make New Year’s resolutions, Dr. Hadley’s team is standing by to help you with a nice, bright smile. From cosmetic dentistry like teeth whitening to restorative dentistry to replace a broken smile, your Las Vegas dentist is standing by to make 2018 great. Contact us today.