With December already upon us, many find that the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and resulting hectic schedules can sometimes mean that we neglect our teeth. It’s also the time of year when indulging in sweet treats and desserts can become part of our daily diet, and without proper care this can take a toll on our teeth. What then can we do to keep our family’s teeth healthy during the holiday season?
Fortunately, it needn’t take much effort. More than anything simply making an effort to be aware of our oral health despite our busy schedule will go far. Brushing and flossing regularly is a no-brainer, but what about the times when you are out and about and not able to keep to your regular schedule for oral care?
After indulging in holiday treats, drink a glass of water or chew a piece of sugarless gum. These help to wash away and prevent cavity-causing bacteria that can form within the mouth. Something else to be aware of is the accessibility of food. It’s easy to snack on holiday cookies, sweets and candies throughout the day, especially if you’re spending time at home and just relaxing. If however you avoid keeping these sweet treats within arm’s reach, and consciously decide to bring them out only for special events or when guests are visiting, your teeth – and your waistline – will thank you.
While there’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence, it’s good to keep tabs of how many alcoholic beverages, punches, sodas, or other beverages you consume which have a high acid content, as these soften tooth enamel and leave your teeth vulnerable to damage and decay. When you do consume things with a high acid content, you can neutralize the acid by following them with high calcium foods like cheese, or foods like nuts or crisp raw veggies — things that are often readily available at holiday parties.
Something else to keep in mind is that eating sugary or carbohydrate-rich foods as part of a balanced meal is better than eating them alone. The body produces more saliva to help digest larger meals, which washes away more food and helps neutralize harmful acids before they can attack teeth.
Aside from these things, the most important thing that you can do for your teeth is to keep to your regular schedule of brushing and flossing as much as possible throughout the holidays. When you’re able to, it doesn’t hurt to brush a little more often, in correlation with the extra treats that your teeth are exposed to. This added effort, as easy as it is, may help your teeth to escape the holiday season unscathed.
If you have any concerns regarding your teeth or dental emergencies, even during the holidays, please do not hesitate to contact your dentist at North Burnaby Dental Group.