Here come the holidays; a time of celebration with family and friends, great food, and many desserts and candies. Let’s take a moment to be thoughtful about those pearly whites that allow us to indulge in Holiday treats. Desserts and sweets can be bad for your overall oral health. You can care about your dental health and also enjoy the holidays!
Enjoy Your Holidays While Maintaining Dental Health
It may be unrealistic for you and your family to completely avoids sweet treats during the holidays. There are a number of ways to give your teeth a fighting chance against sugar-related tooth decay and mouth disease. Remember, kids watch adults, so you can help them make these good choices by setting a good example:
- Keep your teeth clean – Adults and children: brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes and and floss once a day to eliminate normal residual sugars and food particles from their teeth and mouth. Sugar is what feeds oral bacteria, which causes tooth decay.
- Be choosey with sweets and snacks – It is best to avoid desserts, snacks, and sweets that stick to your teeth. The longer they are left on your teeth, the more chance sugar has to damage your enamel.
- Stay hydrated – Hydration is good for your body. It’s also good for dental health, since it helps stimulate salivary flow which breaks down mouth sugars. Drinking water helps to wash away plaque (cavity causing food residue) left on teeth between brushing. A swish of water can make a big difference when you are without a toothbrush!
- Take control of your sweets – Write down and/ or verbalize a family plan to reduce and replace your normal intake of holiday sweets, even if you can’t totally eliminate them. Decide ahead of events what specific limit for sweets you’ll allow yourselves and stick with it. Come up with fun family activities as a reward for not overindulging.
- See your dentist – Schedule preventive care visits (check-ups and cleanings) as recommended by your pediatric dentist and any time that sweet tooth isn’t feeling so sweet!