The Holiday season is in full swing and this time of year we’re all tempted by the sweet foods and candies that wreak havoc on our teeth! Just because the holidays are here, doesn’t mean you have to spend January filling cavities!
Of course, the best way to avoid post-holiday cavities is to practice perfect oral health care.
- Try to avoid eating sugary or carbohydrate-rich foods alone. The body produces more saliva to digest larger meals, which washes away all of those acids that are harmful to your teeth.
- Try to limit your intake of sticky foods, such as taffies, candies, jams, and even healthy options like raisins, dates and dried fruit. Sticky foods allow harmful bacteria and acids to cling to your teeth better than non-sticky foods because they take longer to chew.
- Always rinse with water before brushing your teeth after consuming high acid foods and drinks such as fruit and wine. This will prevent tooth erosion from the acids.
If you can, try to brush right after your holiday parties. Keeping an extra travel-sized toothbrush in your purse or the glove compartment of your car will help make this more convenient. As an added bonus, you will be less likely to continue to snack after brushing your teeth.
- If you’re unable to brush right after eating, rinse with water or use sugar-free gum to help produce the necessary saliva used to wash away food particles and to neutralize any acids left in your mouth.
- Avoid snacking. Snacking on sweets throughout the day is especially harmful, due to the damaging acids that form when you eat sugary foods. These acids continue to affect your teeth for at least 20 minutes afterward.
Holiday vacations are perfect for perfecting your oral health care routine! You typically have more free time during the holidays during your morning and nighttime routines to brush more thoroughly and make sure you’re flossing as well. It’s not necessary to brush harder, but brushing for longer (2-3 minutes), will ensure a more thorough clean. As always, don’t forget your regular check-ups and cleanings with your dentist!