When the holiday season approaches, most of the festivities will include an array of sweet beverages, baked goods, and candies. While these festive foods can be tempting, the sugar content can increase your susceptibility to tooth decay and gum disease. Instead of avoiding the fun altogether, here are some helpful recommendations on how to effectively protect your teeth against the most common harmful holiday activities.
Be Selective About Your Treats
Try to find a sugar-free alternative whenever possible. Substitute fruit and vegetables for sweets in your party platers. Cheese is another great alternative. It is full of calcium that is great for your teeth, and it has pH balancing properties that help neutralize the acid in alcoholic beverages.
Candy canes are everywhere during the holidays, but this hard and sticky treat can crack your teeth if you bite down wrong. If you must have one, let it dissolve to prevent chipping and be sure to brush and floss afterward.
Soda is another frequent party member that can be particularly harmful. Fizzy water flavored with fruit instead of sugar is a better option that is just as festive. If you really want a soda, use a straw to help keep the damaging acids off your teeth.
Avoid Frequent Snacking
When enjoying candy and treats during holidays, limit them to only one or two times a day. Grazing on food throughout the day allows bacteria to build up and remain on your teeth until you brush next. If you want to snack more, you should also brush more to prevent damage from the acidic nature of these treats.
Be Conscious of Stocking Stuffers
It may be tempting to pack the holiday stockings with inexpensive sugary treats but doing so can cost you much more in dental bills later. Consider adding only one sweet item, and it never hurts to have another new toothbrush!
Teeth Are Not Tools
With so many packages to wrap and open, you may be tempted to use your teeth to break open or cut things with your teeth. Don’t do it! Using teeth as a tool can cause painful and expensive chips and breaks, putting a serious damper on your holiday spirit. Buy a few extra pairs of scissors and keep them in different places so they are always in reach, especially when it’s time to open gifts.
Increase Brushing and Flossing
Most of us will get a few extra days off from our regular responsibilities during the holiday season which creates an excellent opportunity to re-establish a consistent and comprehensive at-home oral care routine. Being more diligent with brushing and flossing lets you enjoy your favorite food and drink during this time of year without the worry of an extensive treatment plan at your next visit to the dentist.