As we come up on the holidays it’s hard not to daydream about all the delicious food we’re going to eat. Pies, cookies, cakes, chocolates, stocking stuffer candy, ciders and other sugary beverages… wait. That might mean some serious damage for our teeth. Sugary foods can lead to tartar buildup, decay, cavities, canker sores, and more.
How can you defend against dental problems during the extra sweet holiday season? We have a few ideas for you.
5 Ways to Treat the Holiday Sweet Tooth
- Beef Up Your Brush: If you haven’t moved to an electric brush, we highly suggest it. Using a strong electric toothbrush really tackles the buildup that comes from a spinning and vibrating brush. Take several minutes each night to thoroughly remove residue and plaque from your teeth for a cleaner mouth.
- Watch Sugary Drinks: Sugary drinks are tough offenders, so try to avoid them as much as possible. Use a straw positioned to the back of the mouth if you can so that the sugary liquid has very little contact with your teeth. Swish water around in your mouth after drinking to wash away any leftover sugar. A whitening toothpaste, mouthwash, or professional whitening might be needed to counteract the stains of wine, coffee, and other staining liquids.
- Brush More Frequently: It’s common sense! Pack a toothbrush and toothpaste in your bag or purse and quickly brush after a meal or celebration, because usually there are HOURS between eating and brushing your teeth. Don’t let residual sugar do any damage just because you’re out late celebrating!
- Add Steps: Many people complete their hygiene routine with just a good brush. Consider adding a few small steps, like diligent flossing and a cavity-fighting mouthwash which can get into areas your brush can’t. Ask your dentist for a mouthwash recommendation at an appointment or over the phone and then begin using it immediately.
- Get a Professional Cleaning: Scheduling a dental cleaning immediately following the holidays can ensure that there isn’t any residue left from your holiday celebrations damaging your teeth. If you do have decay or cavities, schedule those repairs right away so they don’t get worse. This will keep your teeth healthy and beautiful no matter how much candy you ate.
It’s possible to enjoy delicious holiday treats AND keep your mouth in good hygienic shape. Follow these steps and you can find yourself with happy and healthy pearly whites as we enter the new year. It’s a goal well worth pursuing.