Keeping Your Mouth Healthy Through the Holidays
During the holidays we gather, celebrate, and often indulge. This is the time of year we all deserve to enjoy ourselves and have an extra treat. In the middle of all the festivities, you can still make good choices to protect your teeth, tongue, and gums. Remembering your oral health throughout the holiday season will help you start the brand-new year with a healthy smile!
Seasonal treats seem to pop up everywhere, as candy, cookies, and extra sweets are a favorite way to spread holiday cheer. When there’s a bowl or tray full on every desk around every corner, both adults and kids have a lot more opportunities to bombard their teeth with sugar. The high sugar content of candy is, of course, the main culprit in the fight against cavities, but the length of time teeth are exposed to sugar is more important. For example, ‘grazing’ on little candies throughout the day without brushing is more harmful to your teeth than enjoying some candy and then rinsing out your mouth.
No one walks into a party with dental hygiene on the brain. However, being aware of making smart choices during any meal or party is important for both your oral and overall health. Turns out, there’s a reason that the appetizer platter of raw veggies and cheese always makes its way to the table. The protein in cheese is good for your teeth, and eating raw veggies helps remove bacteria and freshen breath.
Drinking water throughout a meal and in-between any sugary or alcoholic beverages is the best way to keep enamel strong while indulging. Sipping bottled or tap water helps rinse your mouth with any lingering sugars, strengthen your teeth, and prevent dry mouth. Keeping a glass handy for sipping during dinner and dessert is a simple way to freshen breath and keep your mouth clean. Remember, the amount of time sugar and bacteria is in contact with the surfaces of teeth is what can cause the most damage. If you are party-hopping and don’t have an opportunity to brush, a travel size oral rinse can help clean up your mouth and freshen your breath before you move on to the next holiday bash.
When spending the holiday with family and friends, it’s a great time to remind everyone they should see their dentist! A yearly appointment is important for scheduling regular teeth cleaning and oral cancer screening to practice prevention. Remember your oral health during the holidays, and ring in the New Year by putting your best grin forward!