The holidays are a great time to indulge in your favorite sweets, but all that sugary goodness can lead to oral health problems if you’re not careful. According to The American Dental Association, cavities occur when plaque sticks to a tooth and produces an acid that eats through the enamel and creates a hole.
To make sure your smile stays nice this season, consider the following holiday dental health tips:
Keep Up With Your Routine
The busier you are, the easier it is to let your regular habits slide. It can be particularly tempting to skip your oral health routine if you arrive home late after a festive party. In between holiday gatherings and travel, don’t be naughty and neglect your smile! To prevent tooth decay and maintain your dental routine, brush twice a day and floss daily.
Visiting your dentist twice a year is an important part of any oral health routine. Read our guide on What to Expect from a New Patient Visit to learn more.
Limit Sticky Sweets
While bubbly drinks and sugar cookies are aplenty this season, try not to overindulge.
When choosing which sweets to enjoy over the holiday, consider making healthier choices that still let satisfy your sweet tooth. For example, dark chocolate is better for your dental health than most candies because it has less sugar than milk chocolate and doesn’t stick to your teeth.
It’s just as important to know which foods to avoid. The following treats will heighten your risk of developing cavities:
- Candy canes and other hard candies
- Sticky caramels, peppermint nougat, and fudge
- Sugary drinks such as hot chocolate, eggnog, and dessert wine
Try limiting your holiday indulgences to just after, or during, a meal. That way, you won’t constantly be exposing your teeth to sugar and other harmful bacteria.
When you’ve finished the treats, be sure to cleanse your mouth to rid it of residual sugar and bacteria. Brushing or merely rinsing your mouth after sweets will help prevent cavities.
To freshen your breath and reduce your risk of periodontal infection, use antibacterial mouthwash daily. While it might seem backward, don’t forget to rinse with mouthwash before you brush. Otherwise, you’ll undo all the work of brushing your teeth.
If you can’t access a toothbrush, try chewing a stick of sugar-free gum after sugary snacks to increase saliva production, helping clean your teeth. In addition to removing sugar from the surface of your teeth, gum also keeps your breath minty fresh!
If you’d like to learn more ways to care for your smile at home and stay cavity-free throughout the holiday season, or you’re interested in scheduling a new patient exam at Dentistry at East Piedmont, please reach out to us at (770) 321-5558.