Some of the worst foods for your teeth are unfortunately also beloved holiday staples. Because it’s difficult to forgo all sweets and treats at this time of year, it’s essential to use careful dental care around the holidays. Taking care of your teeth and gums now can prevent problems that could happen next year.
Here are a few simple steps you can take to ensure that your teeth will continue to shine throughout the holidays.
Holiday Foods and Drinks To Watch Out For
Be aware of which foods are the most damaging to your teeth so that you can search out alternatives at the Thanksgiving table and at holiday parties.
As you might expect, sugary foods like candy are some of the most harmful foods for your teeth. Candy canes, gumdrops, chocolate coins, jelly beans, and similar foods are everywhere during the holidays. Enjoy them in moderation and chew sugarless gum to keep your mouth busy when candy is within reach. Sticky foods are also damaging, so avoid things like candy-covered apples, sticky buns, and fruitcake covered with dried fruit.
Take care when choosing holiday drinks as well. Citrus is healthy in some ways, but it’s also highly acidic and can cause tooth enamel to erode. Specifically, research shows that grapefruit and lemon juice cause the most damage to enamel, so if you have to have a tart cocktail or drink, opt for less acidic orange juice instead. In general, try to limit your intake of sugary sodas and dehydrating alcohol.
When you’re choosing holiday foods, opt for fruits and vegetables like apples and celery as well as protein-rich foods like cheese. Drink water as much as possible, or at least after every sugary snack or drink.
Holiday Dental Care
The holiday season is hectic and involves travel for many people. When you’re out late, up early or on the road, it’s easy to forget your dental care. Set yourself up for success this year by packing a travel-sized toothbrush, toothpaste, and a package of floss in your suitcase. If you’re flying, pack your dental supplies in your carry-on in case your checked bags are lost.
Consider setting morning and nightly alarms so you don’t forget to clean your teeth. Name the alarms something like “2 x 2” to remind yourself of the American Dental Association’s suggestion that you brush twice daily for two minutes at a time. Floss your teeth at least once per day. These simple steps can help prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath and improve your overall health.
Ate one too many candy canes? Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry is here to help you get a new smile just in time for New Years. Contact us today and get a brilliant, healthy smile!