Dental Health and the Holidays

Your mouth is most likely under assault for most of December, from chocolates, candy canes, hot cocoa and a thousand other things that are right at your finger tips. How can you preserve your smile for the future in the midst of such a barrage?

First, it is important to understand why sweets can hurt your mouth and your teeth. Bacteria in the mouth thrive on the sugars found in holiday treats. This thriving bacteria means the chances of cavities increase.

With all the travelling that many people do during the holidays, keeping up on your brushing and flossing may be difficult. If you find yourself away from home eating a lot of tooth-busters, make sure to drink water or chew on sugarless gum after you munch on sweets. Water and gum increase saliva flow, helping to wash away bacteria, though of course they will never compensate long term for brushing and flossing. So make sure you pack a toothbrush and toothpaste wherever you go.

Sweets aren’t the only holiday assault on your oral health. Alcohol is another thing to be wary of. Wine, for example, has high acidity levels, which can eat at the enamel of teeth. This enamel is your teeth’s defense against decay and cavities. Don’t swish wine around in your mouth, and make sure you’re drinking water after the wine, to wash out the acidity.
So what should you eat during the holidays to help your oral health? Some research suggests that dairy products are important for preserving oral health. Dairy products may work to neutralize plaque pH in the mouth.

Another suggestion is to schedule your yearly or six-month cleaning in January. This may help to minimize whatever damage is done during the holidays.

The best idea is probably to simply stay on top of your oral health during the holidays. It can be difficult, since Christmas and the new year is when our routine is disrupted, and things like flossing fall through the cracks, especially with late night parties in distant lands.

To switch gears, if you want to give a great gift this year, consider giving someone you love a new smile, with porcelain veneers, teeth whitening or dental implants. We have some great internet specials to consider. A new smile can make an enormous difference in someone’s life. Take our word for it.