The Holidays are here, and while it’s a time of good cheer, some of the ways you celebrate could damage your teeth. Consider these tips to protect your teeth during this festive time of year so you can enjoy your time with family and friends rather than visit our office.
Tips of Things to Do
There are many actions you can take to protect your teeth over the holidays and these are:
- Eat Sweets With your Meal. Sweets are often a wonderful part of a holiday celebration but sugar can cause tooth decay. To minimize this damage eat your sweet treats with a meal rather than afterward, which allows the excess saliva from eating to wash the sugar from your teeth. You can use this tip as an excuse to eat your dessert first!
- Enjoy a Cheese Plate. Cheese is a natural cavity-fighter, with calcium and phosphate to help balance pH levels in your mouth, preserve tooth enamel, produce saliva, and kill bacteria that cause cavities and diseases. Replace a few cookies with some cheese to promote healthy teeth.
- Munch on Fruits and Vegetables. Many fruits, such as apples and strawberries, scrub your teeth while you eat them. Carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, and cucumbers also help keep your teeth clean by removing food particles that can become plaque. Enjoy a carrot stick or apple slice to keep your mouth clean.
- Drink Lots of Water. Not only does water help to rinse away sugars and foods, staying hydrated is a good way to stay healthy during this busy time of year. If you don’t like to drink plain water, add slices of fruit, cucumbers, or fresh herbs to your water for flavor. Just don’t add juice because they are full of sugar, which is counterproductive.
- Be Consistent with Your Oral Hygiene Routine. After a wonderful party or a day of skating with family and friends, it’s tempting to fall into bed without brushing and flossing. Resist this temptation and keep to your normal bedtime teeth-cleaning regimen. Having a healthy mouth supports your overall well-being. So brush, floss and start the New Year right.
Tips of Things to Avoid
While you can’t always do the right thing, there are some foods and beverages that can cause serious damage to your teeth, fillings, and crowns, and should be avoided when possible. These are:
- Avoid Teeth-Staining Beverages. Many drinks are known to stain teeth, including coffee, tea, and red wine. White wine can make existing stains more prominent. When possible drink these beverages with a lid to avoid contact with your teeth.
- Avoid or Limit Teeth-Damaging Beverages. Juice and soda are both acidic and high in sugar, which increases the risk of cavities and can create holes in your teeth. Replace these drinks with plain or flavored waters, or rinse your mouth with water after consuming these beverages.
- Avoid “The Hard Stuff”. Biting into candy canes, crunchy cookies, peanut brittle and peppermint bark can cause cracks in teeth and dislodge fillings and crowns. Break these items into small pieces to minimize the risk or avoid them altogether.
- Beware of Sticky Things. Anything with caramel or toffee, and even chewy fruit cake can pull fillings and crowns out of your teeth. If you can’t avoid these foods or don’t want to, try to eat them in a way that minimizes this risk.
If you can’t avoid these tooth-damaging foods and beverages, please be careful when you indulge.
All of us at Petrone Family Dentistry wish you and your family a happy and safe holiday season. Thank you for allowing us to serve your dental needs and remember, if tooth disaster strikes, our emergency services program means that we’re always here to help.