With all the fun and festivities of the holidays, we often forget how hard they are on our teeth. Most of our favorite holiday foods are especially bad for our dental health, but we can still safely enjoy them if we know how to take care of our teeth.
These tips will help you keep your teeth healthy while you enjoy all those holiday treats and sweets.
One of the main contributing factors of tooth decay is the amount of time sugar stays on your teeth. Bacteria in your mouth break down sugars and produce a weak acid that wears down your teeth.
The longer sugar stays on your teeth, the more damage it can cause.
Any food with sugar can hurt your teeth, but many holiday treats are especially hard on them. Sticky foods like caramel, candy corn, gumdrops, marshmallows, licorice, peanut brittle, and pecan pie can get sugar stuck to your teeth long after you eat them. Sucking on hard candies like candy canes will also expose your teeth to sugar for a long time. Drinks like soda, hot chocolate, coffee, egg nog, and alcohol will coat your teeth with sugar. Popcorn kernels can get stuck in your teeth for days. Holiday cookies are a fun tradition, but they are full of sugar. If you need an excuse to avoid fruitcake, it is also especially bad for teeth.
The good news is, we can still enjoy all of these holiday treats if we take care of our teeth.
Whenever you eat sweet or sugary foods, you can reduce the damage to your teeth by drinking water or chewing gum after you eat. Chewing sugarless gum after eating sweets helps remove sugar from your teeth, and freshens your breath. Drinking water frequently throughout the day is not only good for your overall health, but it helps to rinse sugar off your teeth. Water with fluoride also helps to reinforce your teeth against decay.
It is best to eat candy and sweets during short periods of time, especially after meals. When you eat snacks or sweets throughout the day, you greatly extend the amount of time sugar stays on your teeth. Sugar is also more easily removed during meals, so this is the best time for holiday treats.
The best way to make sure your teeth don’t suffer is to brush them consistently.
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is always important, but it is even more imperative when your teeth are covered in sugar. It is also a good idea to check the bristles on your toothbrush before the holidays to make sure they are not worn or bent. A worn out toothbrush is not effective at cleaning away sugar. It is also very important to floss regularly to remove sugar from between your teeth.
Above all, nothing gets your teeth clean like a visit to the dentist.
Whether you live in Spring, TX, or are here for the holidays, you can visit The Hill Dental Group for a cleaning and checkup. We will thoroughly clean your teeth and reinforce their defenses against all that holiday sugar. Our office is located at 8338 Spring Cypress Rd. Spring, TX, 77379.