At last the holidays are finally here! And what do we like to do? Eat, drink, be merry, and forget all about our dental health. Not so fast! Here are 4 tips to keep you smiling during the holidays.
Be Picky if it’s Sticky
The holidays are notorious for having an abundance of sticky foods, from the cherry pie filling to the cranberry sauce. When we eat foods high in sugar, the bacteria in our mouth break down these sugars to produce acid. The acid begins to break down our tooth enamel, forming a cavity. The stickier the food, the longer the exposure time to demineralize your enamel. Always brush and floss after eating any type of sticky food.
If you Choose to Booze
Ahhh tis the season to have a glass of wine…or two. Go easy on the alcohol this season as the risks outweigh the benefits. Ingesting alcohol can cause dry mouth, so make sure you drink plenty of water with your eggnog. In addition, both white and red wine are highly acidic, which can cause your enamel to deteriorate and look yellow. Try to drink water after your wine. It will help neutralize the acid and wash it away. And remember, always drink in moderation!
Let the Nutcracker do the Crunching!
Candy canes, popcorn balls, peppermints, candied peanuts…the list goes on. Although our pearly whites are the strongest substance in the body, they certainly are not invincible. Our jaws are powerful tools, and one chomp on a popcorn kernel can result in a broken tooth. If you crack your tooth on your mom’s favorite peanut brittle, you may not be able to see a dentist during the holidays as most offices are closed. Ask about your dental office’s emergency contact. Be prepared with over-the-counter pain relievers on hand. Stick to a soft food diet until you can see your dentist as soon as possible.
The holidays can be hectic times, but never forego your daily routine. Wherever this season takes you, make sure you have your toothbrush and floss along for the ride. If you can’t find time to brush, chew sugar-free gum as it can flush out debris and boost saliva production. Amongst all of the merriment, make sure your dental check up appointment is in the books. Routine dental check ups and daily brushing and flossing are key for early prevention and detection. Happy holidays and we hope you have a happy, healthy and cavity-free holiday season!