The holidays are a wonderful time for gifts, spending time with family (even virtually), and enjoying the winter season. However, it is also the time for sweets and hearty meals, filled with gingerbread houses, sugar cookies, hot chocolates, and peppermints. However, these wildly delicious foods also come with heavy amounts of sugar that can coat your teeth and leave your mouth feeling sticky afterward. For those who love the holidays, staying healthy during it can be a struggle. Even when brushing and flossing, people become more exposed to Christmas treats than ever before, making it hard for the health-conscious person to make the best decisions for their teeth.
If you’re an avid person who cares for their oral health, we’ve provided some of the best tips to follow to help keep you and your teeth healthy this holiday season.
Make Brushing and Flossing A Priority
For both kids and adults, brushing and flossing is the best way to remove excess sugars and keep teeth clean. Children during this time are more susceptible to sweets this season. Because of this time’s relaxed atmosphere, many adults can tend to forget about what they’re eating and drinking and can become lackadaisical with their oral habits. Keeping up with oral hygiene habits is the number one preventative measure against cavities and tooth decay.
Limit Your Sweet Intake
With all the variety of sweets out there, many of the holiday’s most beloved foods contain immense amounts of sugar, especially processed sugar. These sugars can coat the outside enamel of the teeth and cause plaque and tartar to build-up, which increases the risk of cavities with time. By cutting out sugary cookies and replacing them with foods containing high amounts of fiber, such as pumpkin pies, fruits, and oatmeals, you can have a better time this season while remaining healthy.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water is a crucial part of oral health because not only does it provide hydration, but it also helps clean the mouth of any leftover food particles and bacteria. Water helps encourage saliva flow, which helps to neutralize acids that form plaque and help hydrate the mouth from drying out. While the occasional holiday drink is always tasty to drink, drinking plenty of water can help protect your teeth from plaque and improve your oral health for the upcoming year.
For more information on how to best care for your teeth this season, contact Dr. Kevin H Speer at Oak Grove Dental Center in Milwaukie, OR, for an appointment!