Keeping teeth healthy during the holidays can be a real challenge for many of us. The holiday season is filled with sweets and treats and candy. It’s okay for you to enjoy treats in moderation, as long as you don’t overdo it and properly care for your teeth afterward.
How Sweets Affect Your Teeth
Sugar itself doesn’t cause plaque and tooth decay. The plaque develops when foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches) are left on the teeth. Bacteria that live in the mouth thrive on these foods, producing acids as a result. This acid attacks your teeth and causes the decay.
Tips for a Tooth Friendly Holiday
We’re here to help make sure your family’s smiles stay happy and healthy. Here are a few tips to make this holiday season a little more tooth-friendly.
Don’t Nibble and Snack All Day
Snacking throughout the day can increase your risk for tooth decay and other oral issues. Prolonged snacking and nibbling, especially carbohydrates and sweets, causes the bacteria in your mouth to produce more acid, increasing the risk for cavities and plaque build-up.
Choose Foods That Are Good for Your Teeth
Try to stay away from candies, cookies and dried fruit and choose healthy foods like cheese, fresh fruit and vegetables. Dairy is a source of vitamin D and calcium needed to support bone health and our teeth. Crunching on vegetables and hard fruits like apples help clean our teeth.
Check out The American Dental Association’s list of healthy holiday snacks: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/holiday-recipes
Eat Sweets with Meals
Eating sweets and treats with your meal helps reduce the amount of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. The other foods and drinks from your meal help prevent sugar from sticking to your teeth.
Choose Water Over Alcohol and Sweet Drinks
Alcohol increases dry mouth, which makes it easier for plaque to stick to teeth. In addition, sodas, sports drinks and juices are high in sugar and acid. It’s best to choose water or milk instead.
Stick to Your Daily Oral Health Routine
With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s easy to skip important oral habits. Make sure to brush for two minutes twice a day and floss regularly. However, wait 30 minutes after eating, especially after eating sugary snacks and drinks. Otherwise, you’ll be brushing sugar and acids throughout your mouth. Instead, rinse your mouth with water right after eating.
Make an appointment with JR Dental in Jacksonville, FL if you have any dental concerns.
Don’t wait if you have any concerns about your or your child’s teeth. Call us at (904) 786-5850 to schedule an appointment today!