Oral Care Tips For the Holidays

Like every year, the holidays are a time to reflect on the past year, toast to the future, and spend time with loved ones. While it is natural for us to look forward to certain holiday dishes & treats, it is important to remember that every bite has an impact on our health.  Regarding your oral health here are a few key things to think about during your holiday meals & festivities.

Try to avoid sweets that are too hard to chew. Biting on a hard candy may be painful and can cause a tooth to crack. Furthermore, prolonged contact to sugar might raise the risk of cavities if the substance is left in the mouth.

Both soda and alcohol are known tooth irritants. Too much sugar and acid may quickly dissolve tooth enamel. Decay and gum disease are a few dental issues that may develop from drinking alcohol.

Water is essential, and certain holiday foods, like cheese, may actually be good for your teeth and gums. Cheese, with its cavity-fighting chemicals, phosphates, and calcium, helps strengthen teeth and maintains the mouth’s neutral pH.

Remember to eat three square meals a day, rather than grazing all day, to give your teeth enough time to remineralize the enamel that comes in contact with food. Limit your intake of starchy foods like cookies and cakes and instead enjoy sweets with your meal, when your saliva may help neutralize the sugars.

Always brush your teeth and use dental floss after consuming food or drink, but particularly if it contains sugar. Wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth to prevent enamel wear.

Foods to Avoid

Eggnog

Eggnog has a high sugar content, giving it an acquired taste that many people seek during the holidays. Similarly, alcohol is not ideal for your teeth, but drinking occasionally or in moderation will not harm your dental health.

Brushing your teeth twice a day, and particularly before night, will help combat sugar from causing plaque build up.

Dried Fruits

Stickiness is a common complaint among those who consume dried fruit. Having fruit stuck to your teeth might increase your risk of cavities because it supplies food for plaque and germs to grow.

Candy Canes

To a large extent, candy canes consist of the sugars sucrose (table sugar) and high fructose corn syrup. Although they may be tasty in moderation, they may seriously damage your teeth if you consume too many of them. They are bad for your teeth in more ways than one, since eating the hard candy may actually cause damage to your enamel.

Breads, cereals, and other starchy foods

A staple at a Holiday dinner is stuffing, which consists of some form of bread, veggies and spices.

Contrary to popular belief, stuffing is can be harmful to teeth, despite its relatively low sugar content. Bacteria produced by the stuffing’s starches enhance plaque’s adherence to teeth, which in turn raises the probability of developing cavities.