Let’s face it: during the holidays, most of us like to indulge. Whether it’s mom’s Christmas cake or a few perfectly-mixed pumpkin spice cocktails, it’s easy to eat and drink more than we normally would. We’re human, after all.
But this holiday season, I encourage you to think about your smile before consuming that irresistible treat – because it could do some serious damage.
In this blog, I’ll give you some tips on what to avoid and how to protect your most valuable asset while you celebrate.
- Too many sweets are bad. Candy canes, for example, are made of solid sugar and they are incredibly hard on teeth to chew. Sugar overload can result in tooth decay. And when you’re gnawing on something this solid, you risk chipped or cracked teeth, or even losing a filling.
- Snack carefully. Buy a nutcracker to shell nuts. You’re asking for trouble if you use your teeth.
- Gummy candy poses a danger because it coats your teeth in sugar and can pull out restorations. If you suffer from TMJ, you’ll want to avoid these treats because your symptoms could worsen.
- Alcohol dries your mouth. Our mouth needs saliva to remove food debris and remineralize our teeth. Since booze can impact this natural process, it creates the perfect storm for cavities, gum issues, and bad breath.
- Citrus fruits and drinks are good and bad. They’re good because they boost your vitamin C levels in the winter. Unfortunately, highly acidic citrus can wear down your tooth enamel, leading to weak and sensitive teeth.
- Stay away from fruitcake. Like a variety of other sticky foods, it will feed the bacteria that triggers decay, bad breath, and can dislodge fragile crowns or teeth.
If you decide to have the occasional treat …. that’s OK! But there are some things you can do – each day – to keep your teeth and mouth in the best shape possible.
- Don’t keep these foods and drinks in your mouth for a prolonged amount of time. The less contact with your teeth, the better.
- Rinse your mouth with water to get rid of food debris.
- Brush and floss at least twice daily (within 20 minutes after eating if possible).
- Schedule spring hygiene appointments for your entire family.
Want a checkup after the holidays? Give us a call and we’ll set up a post-holiday review. If you have a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to get in touch right away. We will help! Have a wonderful holiday season.