The holiday season immediately brings to mind great parties, gift exchanges, and of course, great sweet treats. There’s a reason it’s so easy to pack on a few pounds during this festive season. However, you may not have thought about how all those parties, late nights, and sweet delights are affecting your teeth. Eat more sugar throughout the holidays and you’ll increase the acids in the mouth that increase your risk of cavities. The good news – you can take some precautions to prevent cavities while still enjoying yourself this holiday season.
Skip the Hard Candies
Skip the hard candies like candy canes and other hard candies that you have to suck on for a long period of time. When you’re sucking on hard candy, it means that sugar is sitting in your mouth for a long time. Kids especially can spend hours trying to eat candy canes and lollipops. Skip these candies so you’re not bathing your teeth in sugar, which increases your cavity risk.
Don’t Slack on Routine Dental Hygiene to Prevent Cavities
With late night parties that leave you exhausted and visits to family members across the country, it can be easy to slack off on your dental hygiene routine. When you’re tired after a big party, it’s easy to decide to fall into bed without brushing. Since you’re probably eating more sugar than usual, you can’t afford to skip brushing and flossing. Make sure you’re brushing twice a day for two minutes, and don’t forget to floss. You may even want to brush more often during the holidays since you’re eating more sweet treats.
Keep a Toothbrush, Toothpaste, and Floss with You
While you’re visiting friends, shopping, and enjoying parties, you’re probably indulging in some sweets. Make sure you have a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss with you at all times. This way you can excuse yourself to brush right after you finish eating. It’s easy to find small, travel size options that allow you to carry these tools discretely.
Drink Enough Water
You may not have a chance to whip out your toothbrush after every sweet treat you eat. This means you need to focus on drinking enough water. Rinsing with water after eating can eliminate food particles that can cause cavities. Skipping sugary beverages and going with water can also help prevent cavities. Since you’re enjoying a few more sweet treats than normal, don’t spend time sipping on sugary juices, sodas, sports drinks, and alcoholic beverages.
Just Indulge in Favorites
It’s tough to steer clear of sweets during the holidays, especially when they’re all around you. If you’re going to indulge, stick to your favorite treats. Don’t go with items you can eat all year long. Go for the special treats like grandma’s special cookies or that favorite type of fudge you only see once a year. Not only will your teeth thank you, but your waistline will thank you, too.
Steer Clear of Sticky Sweets
Cavities are more likely to develop when the sugar you eat remains on your teeth. Plaque just loves the acids found in carbs and sugars. This is even worse if you eat sticky sweats that aren’t easily removed by teeth. Skip the starchy foods that can get trapped in teeth and avoid caramels, popcorn balls, and pecan pies that can easily stay on your teeth for hours, making it more likely that you end up with a cavity after the holidays.
Stock Up on Sugar Free Gum
Saliva helps wash away the bacteria in your mouth, so stock up on some sugar free gum to have on hand, since it helps produce saliva. Not only will it freshen breath and increase saliva production, you’ll find it easier to resist those sweet treats if you’re already chewing gum.
Schedule a Checkup After the Holidays
Once the holidays are over, make sure you schedule a routine checkup with your Melbourne, Florida dentist. Regular checkups and cleanings are important to maintaining your oral health, and that way if you’re dealing with any tooth damage, it can be caught early before it becomes a big problem.
You don’t have to avoid all the tasty treats during the holidays. Use these tips to choose wisely and take measures to avoid cavities this holiday season. Call us today to set up your next checkup to keep tooth decay and other oral health problems at bay.