December 18, 2019
You might be looking forward to having fun with friends and family during the holidays, but it’s important to remember that the bacteria in your mouth never take a break. Tooth decay and other dental emergencies can strike at any time without warning – and indulging in holiday sweets only makes these issues even more likely to occur! If you want to keep your smile safe during the most festive time of the year, follow these tips from your dentist in Arlington.
Be Careful with Holiday Sweets
You probably have plenty of sugary snacks that you enjoy around this time of year, such as pumpkin pie, candy canes, or peanut brittle. While a little bit of sugar now and then is normally okay, your risk of cavities goes up significantly if you’re eating sweets throughout the day. Make sure that you’re using moderation when it comes to holiday treats.
Some festive snacks and beverages are worse for your teeth than others. For example:
- Candy canes stay in your mouth for a long time (meaning so does the sugar they contain) and can break your teeth if you bite down on them.
- Peanut brittle and similar snacks tend to stick to your enamel, giving oral bacteria more time to feed on the sugar and produce acid (which is how cavities are formed).
- The alcohol in wine can weaken your enamel, and the beverage itself can cause stains.
It’s generally better to avoid the above treats altogether, but if you decide to treat yourself every once in a while, keep a glass of water on hand; you can use it to wash away harmful food particles and bacteria off your teeth.
Add Some Tooth-Friendly Foods to Your Diet
When planning holiday snacks and meals, don’t forget to include foods that help protect your teeth. For example, the phosphates and calcium in cheese help preserve your tooth enamel and fight against oral bacteria. Try to include apples, carrots, and other crunchy fruits and vegetables; they can scrub the teeth when you bite down on them and help boost saliva production to keep your pearly whites clean.
Don’t Let Forget Your Oral Hygiene Routine
With all the traveling, shopping, and partying that happens during the holiday season, it’s easy to let your regular routine fall to the wayside. No matter how busy things get, you should always brush your teeth at least twice a day: once in the morning after breakfast, and once in the evening before bed. (Of course, if possible, it’s better to brush after every meal.) You also need to floss daily to clean the spaces in your mouth a toothbrush can’t reach.
It may be a good idea to make an appointment with your dentist before the end of the year so that they can address small oral health problems in their earliest stages; this could also be a good chance to ask for more tips for maintaining great dental health during the holidays. Be proactive, and you’ll be able to greet the new year with a full set of dazzling teeth!
About the Author
Dr. James T. Gray has been practicing dentistry for 30 years. To help his patients protect their smiles throughout the year, his Arlington patient takes advantage of the latest dentistry techniques and technologies, ensuring that you’ll stay comfortable even during advanced procedures. To schedule a holiday appointment, visit their website or call (817) 460-4131.
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