The holidays are right around the corner, which means plenty of tempting treats. It can be difficult to resist beautifully decorated cookies or a candy cane from the store counter. Although you normally limit your sugar consumption, even a few weeks of indulging in your sweet tooth can wreak havoc on your dental health. Don’t let the holidays come back to haunt your smile. Here are 4 easy tips to keep your smile healthy and enjoy your favorite holiday foods.
1. Skip Candy Canes
Candy canes come in several tasty flavors that can satisfy your sugar craving, but they aren’t good for your teeth. Sucking on them bathes your teeth in cavity-causing sugar for a prolonged time. Crunching on them doesn’t make them any safer. Chewing hard candy can crack your teeth. The last place you want to end up during the holidays is in a dental chair. It’s best to have candy canes sparingly to safeguard your smile.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
It’s always important to stay hydrated, but you’ll want to make sure you are drinking enough. Egg nog, soda, wine, and sweet drinks may taste great, but they can erode your enamel. It’s always best to have water because it’s healthier for your smile and waistline. You’ll also prevent your mouth from becoming too dry to limit the growth of bad bacteria. You can cleanse your teeth with each sip.
3. Grab Sugarless Gum
The American Dental Association recommends brushing at least twice a day, if not after every meal. If you can’t get to your toothbrush after grabbing a snack, chew a piece of sugarless gum. It will encourage your saliva production to cleanse your teeth from food residue to keep your teeth and gums healthy in between brushing and flossing.
4. Avoid Chewy, Sticky Foods
Sticky and chewy foods often contain plenty of sugar. Not to mention, their sticky consistency can make them cling to your teeth, particularly the back molars. It’s easy for decay to occur in the small grooves. You can prevent a toothache by avoiding hard or sticky foods, including candy. If you need something sweet, choose a piece of chocolate because it’s easier to remove from your teeth.
Maintain a Healthy Smile for the Holidays
Besides watching what you eat, don’t forget to care for your smile daily. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to clean all surfaces of your teeth for at least two minutes in the morning and night. Floss between each tooth before heading to bed. Don’t forget to schedule an appointment with your dentist if it’s time for your next cleaning and checkup.
About Dr. Jodi B. Meadvin
Dr. Meadvin achieved her dental degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine before continuing her education to earn her AEGD degree. She regularly pursues advanced training to provide superior services for optimal oral health. If you need a cleaning and checkup before the holidays, contact our office today.