November 5, 2019
It’s November, which means the holiday season has officially begun. Before you know it, your calendar will be full of work parties and gatherings with friends and family. One thing all these events have in common is that they will have lots of holiday sweet treats. It’s fine to consume these items in moderation, but it’s all too easy to let the holiday season damage your teeth. Luckily, a dentist in South Jersey is here with 7 tips to help you have a mouth-healthy holiday season.
1. Timing Is Everything
Most of the time, we wait a while after eating a meal to indulge in dessert. This habit, however, can do some serious damage to your pearly whites by exposing them to unhealthy amounts of sugar. To counteract this, eat your sweets with or just after your meal, because saliva production increases during mealtimes. Saliva helps cancel out the acids produced by bacteria that feast on the foods you just ate. It also helps strengthen your teeth and wash away excess food particles that, if left behind, could lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Water, like saliva, helps clean the mouth out of leftover food particles. It also helps you produce more saliva to make your teeth stronger in the fight against cavities. Additionally, it keeps your gums hydrated and healthy.
3. Get Plenty of Rest
Even though the holidays are busy, it’s imperative that you try to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. That way your immune system is at full capacity and can effectively fight off oral infections like gum disease.
4. Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables
The fibrous skin of many fruits and vegetables naturally cleans your teeth off as you eat it. They wash away bacteria that could cause cavities as well as stains on the teeth. They also remove particles of food that could get stuck in your teeth.
5. Avoid Sticky Foods
Oftentimes when we try to be healthy during the holiday season, we opt for dried fruit. Because dried fruit is sticky, it’s not the best for your teeth. This is because when it comes to cavity development, the amount of sugar you consume doesn’t matter as much as how long that sugar is allowed to remain on your teeth. Sticky foods stay on your teeth for longer, increasing the risk for decay.
6. Don’t Chew on Hard Foods
Hard foods like peppermint bark, candy canes, and crunchy holiday cookies can put you at risk for chipped or broken teeth if you bite down on them too forcefully. Soften these items by sucking on them (or dipping them in milk first, in the case of peppermint bark).
7. Brush and Floss Daily
The holidays might be busy, but you can spare a few minutes a day to make sure your teeth are clean. Brush your teeth every morning and every night for two minutes at a time. Furthermore, clean between your teeth with dental floss at least once a day to remove food particles and bacteria trapped in there.
Finally, a great way to keep your teeth healthy this holiday season is to visit your dentist in South Jersey for a checkup and cleaning. At that appointment, they can give you even more advice on how to have a mouth-healthy holiday season.
About the Author
Dr. David Crescenzo graduated from Georgetown Dental School in 1990 with his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Throughout his career, he has taken several courses about cosmetic dentistry and dental implants through the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. He enjoys helping patients achieve their healthiest smiles, and one way to do that is by scheduling regular checkups and cleanings. To book yours, you can contact Dr. Crescenzo’s office at (609) 561-0058.
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