As Thanksgiving and then the winter holidays come around, the constant parties, functions, and gatherings create frequent temptations for us to indulge in. All this great food and drink can also lead to dental health issues like cavities and tooth decay if not taken care of properly. West Linn family dentist Dr. Robert Dugger and his staff want to make sure your holiday season is merry, so here are some helpful tips to keep your teeth and oral health in tip-top condition this season.
Balance is Key
One of the best ways to keep your teeth healthy is to make sure you balance any rich foods that have large amounts of carbohydrates and sugars with healthier fare like fresh vegetables and fruit. These fresh foods can help lead to an increase saliva production, which in turn can help counteract the harmful acids that can damage your teeth. Increased saliva can also assist in washing away bits of food particles that cause damaging bacteria to grow in your mouth.
Limit the Chewy and Sticky
Though we all may be fans of sticky and chewy foods during the holidays, like taffy and other sweets, these can be hugely detrimental to your dental health. Sticky treats, even ones like dried fruit, can get stuck against your teeth and attract acid and plaque that can quickly lead to tooth decay. By limiting how much of these you eat, and by making sure you remember to brush after eating any foods that could linger, you can still enjoy all the deliciousness the season has offer
A Reminder To Rinse
As acids can be quite harmful to your teeth, whenever you find yourself eating something that is high in acid, like sour candy, citrus fruits, or even wine or coffee, one of the best things you can do is simply rinse your mouth with water after. This can help keep those destructive acids from building up by washing them away and making sure they don’t get a foothold to begin any tooth decay. As an added benefit, you will also find that your mouth will feel fresh and clean with this simple tip.
Take Your Toothbrush (and Floss!)
Many of us will be on the road traveling to visit friends and family during the holiday season. This can really throw off your existing brushing and flossing schedule, so one of the best ways to combat this is to get yourself an excellent travel toothbrush and small container of floss to slip in your bag or purse. That way, they both will easily available for you after those holiday parties and family gatherings.
Cut Out Chomping on Candy
The holiday are chock full of sweets of all kinds, and one the most prevalent is hard candies, like butterscotch drops and candy canes. And though it can be appealing to crunch down on those surgery delights, a large amount of injuries to teeth happen when people bite down on those very hard sweets. Chipping or cracking is all too common, so remember to try to avoid crunching down on those hard candies, so you can save yourself a painful emergency trip to the dentist.
Sugar Free is Best
Many sweet treats are labeled sugar free and contain Xylitol, which is a type of a sweetener that comes from natural substances. Xylitol can actually interrupt the metabolic process of the bacteria that occurs in your mouth, which usually converts the sugars into acids. Xylitol can decrease the likelihood of tooth decay and cavities, so having a supply of sugar-free items like gum or mints on hand and reaching for those instead, can really save your teeth.
All of us at Dugger Dentistry want to wish you a happy holiday season and the best dental health possible. Contact us if you have any questions!