The holiday season is full of all sorts of temptations. It’s seen as a time to indulge yourself in the treats we may not consume throughout the rest of the year. However, that’s not an excuse to neglect your oral healthcare. These healthy teeth tips from your Arnold, MD dentist, Dr. Scott Finlay, can help keep your teeth shiny and bright this holiday season.
Keep Away From the Candy
The holidays bring around a lot of special candy, like candy canes and gumdrops. But both of these sweet treats can wreak havoc on your teeth. Sucking on hard candy lets the sugars and the bacteria that feed on them linger in the mouth longer. With chewy candy, it gets stuck in all the gaps and crevices and becomes hard to get out. Both of these things increase your risk of cavities and tooth decay.
In addition, hard candies and treats can mean a trip to the dentist for a dental emergency. Things like peanut brittle and peppermint bark are what you have to watch out for. If you bite the wrong way, you may end up cracking or chipping a tooth. If you have dental crowns or other restorations, they could come loose.
Be Careful What You Drink
At parties, there tends to be more dark soda, coffee, and red wine than you typically drink. While it’s okay to have one or two, be mindful of what these drinks will do to your teeth. All of these are things that can stain your teeth. The sugary drinks are also detrimental for dental health, as those can wear away at the enamel. So what are your options?
Always opt for drinks that aren’t dark. Things like water, milk, and certain fruit juices aren’t going to stain your teeth. Water is always the best option, as you never have to worry about sugar either. If you really want some Coca Cola this holiday, drink through a straw. This at least means that the drinks will have less direct contact with your teeth.
Have Sugar-free Gum Available
Sugar-free gum can be a surprisingly helpful tool to have on hand. It can perform a variety of helpful functions for your teeth. First, it helps remove food particles stuck in the teeth. It can get in the nooks and crannies that things get caught in. It can also assist in removing the surface plaque that starts developing.
One of the most important things it does is increase saliva production. Soda and alcohol can dehydrate your mouth, as can salty snacks. Chewing sugar-free gum after eating or drinking these things helps replenish that saliva. Saliva helps defend the teeth and gums from decay and disease, an important part of maintaining your dental health.
Your Dentist in Arnold, Maryland
If you do run into issues with holiday treats, we’re here to help. Call us today or schedule an appointment online!