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Avoid Excessive Decay And Protect Your Teeth During The Holiday Season

Tis’ the season for holiday treats. Friends and family alike will be more than happy to indulge in the sugary snacks that come with this time of year. You know who else is excited about holiday treats? The bacteria in your mouth! We’re not saying you shouldn’t enjoy the fun foods that come with the holidays, but also how do you protect your teeth during the holidays?

Well, thankfully, just by following a few simple steps, there are ways to maintain good oral hygiene and keep your valued dental implants and dentures safe, all the while attending holiday parties for work, and with friends and family.

Willpower May Not Be Enough To Protect Your Teeth

It may seem obvious that eating and drinking sweet and sugary foods for an excessive period of time puts a person at risk for tooth decay and periodontitis. Unfortunately, when many of us are enjoying a holiday get together, many of us forget about our oral health as we enduldge on the amazing food for hours on end.

It may benefit our teeth and our pants size to muster up the willpower to avoid all holiday foods altogether. Realistically however, it probably is not going to happen. Plus, the holidays are for celebrating, relaxing and splurging.

That being said, if one can do a little preparation before a gathering, it will go a long way to protect your teeth and maintain your good oral hygiene habits. Here are some things you can do that can help.

  • Consider fruits as a sweets alternative. Fruits such as pears and apples scrub your teeth as you eat them. The flesh of the fruits when combined with saliva, naturally wash away bacteria off your teeth.
  • Chewing fresh herbs such as cilantro, oregano or pepprmint help to eliminate odors in your mouth caused by bacteria. Be sure to include them in your salad.
  • Eat sugary foods WITH your meal instead of afterwards. Having increased amounts of saliva in your mouth will help to wash down the sugar instead of having it stick to your teeth.
  • Eat cheese! Cheese has anti-cavity agents along with vitamins that strengthen the teeth. Also, the calcium and phosphate in cheese works to balance the pH levels in the mouth, which helps to preserve teeth’s enamel, produces saliva and kills harmful bacteria.
  • Drinking plenty of water helps to keep the mouth clean and stimulates saliva which helps to deposit minerals that strengthen the enamel on teeth. Drinking water also helps keep the gums hydrated.
  • Snacking on vegetables such as carrots and broccoli can help remove food particles from teeth, preventing them from contributing to plaque.
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Some Sweets Can Be Worse Than Others

Eating sweets is obviously not recommended when you need to protect your teeth. However, some sweets can be more destructive than others. Be especially cautious of the following list.

  • Christmas cookies
  • Candy canes
  • Chewing peppermint bark – instead, break into small pieces and dip into milk or tea to soften
  • Fruitcake
  • Wine – both red and white wines can cause stains on teeth
  • Holiday drinks such as eggnog and hot chocolate
  • Sticky sweets such as carmel and taffy – the stickier the snack, the more damaging it is to the teeth.
  • Popcorn – especially harmful to those with dentures and implants

If you don’t have this list handy during the holidays, just remember if it is good for your body, then it is good for your teeth!

Protect Your Teeth And Keep That Smile Bright This Holiday Season

Keeping good oral hygiene habits in place is the best line of defense against costly dental problems. Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in adults and leads to tooth loss. However, no matter how good your oral hygiene habits are at home, you still need to make sure to visit your dentist for a routine dental exam. Call The Dental and Denture Care Center at (352) 848-1050 or contact us through our website here and we can get you scheduled right away. Our team of dental experts can help provide any information you need for maintaining the best smile of your life…even during the holidays.