With the holidays approaching, some may believe it’s impossible to keep the teeth healthy when surrounded by a bunch of holiday desserts. It’s common to indulge when around family and friends because holidays are about having a great time with the people you love, which includes eating tasty comfort food and sweets. However, there are still ways to take care of the teeth during the holiday season to avoid the potential development of cavities, which could lead to gum disease and/or tooth loss if left untreated. Fortunately, the American Dental Association has provided a few tips on how to still maintain a healthy mouth during the holiday season.
The first tip to keep the teeth and gums in great shape during the holiday season is to brush twice daily for a minimum of two minutes, using fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride toothpaste helps protect the teeth from developing cavities, which decrease the chances of developing infected gums. Brushing after breakfast and right before bed is highly recommended.
The second tip is not to overindulge on holiday desserts. Individuals should consume more of the vegetable dish options if they’re still hungry and craving seconds. Doing this reduces the chances of individuals reaching for a second round of dessert. For example, if one has more vegetables in their meal, they would become fuller and less inclined to grab more pie, cookies, cake, muffins, brownies, tarts, etc. For those craving something crunchy but don’t want to consume too many candy canes, a great way to satisfy that craving is by chewing on carrots.
The third tip is to avoid eating too many cooked starches, which also lead to cavities just like sugary foods and drinks. Foods such as pasta, bread, crackers, and chips take longer to remove from the teeth than sugar.
The fourth tip is for people to do their best to avoid soda, sugary juices, sports drinks, and excess alcohol. It’s also best to avoid carbonated drinks because studies show that they’re more detrimental to the teeth than sugary drinks. Supplementing these drinks with lots of water is an effective way to keep the teeth and gums healthy.
The fifth tip is to avoid snacking all day. Snacking produces less saliva than eating a larger meal would, which causes leftover food to get stuck on the teeth and lead to plaque buildup. It’s best to limit snacking to no more than three times per day. The best snacks to consume are fruits, vegetables, and cheese. Swiss, mozzarella, cheddar, and Monterey jack are all excellent selections of cheese to consume for a snack or to eat following a meal because they contain properties that neutralize the acids that are known for attacking the teeth.
The final tip is to still maintain dental appointments during the holiday season so that the teeth and gums can be evaluated, cleaned, and properly treated for any oral complications.
At McBride Dental, we offer a variety of services to help our clients attain and maintain immaculate teeth and healthy gums. Some of our services include preventative care services, gum disease treatments, deep cleanings, cosmetic dentistry, and more. If you are in the San Diego area and need to schedule an appointment, or if you have any questions about our services, contact our office today at 760-471-1003.