We know your teeth aren’t literally attacked by the holidays, but we do know that most of us are attending numerous holiday gatherings over the next month (or so). Holiday gatherings full of friends, family and the infamous holiday treats that can wreak havoc on your pearly whites, and all the tissue around them. So how can you keep your dentist and your taste buds happy as your frequent all those holiday gatherings?
Brush after you’ve indulged
Carry your toothbrush and toothpaste around with you during the holiday season. Don’t worry; you’re not being odd, you’re being health conscious. A good brushing after eating sugar gets rid of food particles in your mouth, which is a key ingredient in the perfect storm that causes cavities. A cavity forms from a combination of bacteria, food, saliva and the resulting acid. Bacteria in your mouth combine with food that sits on your teeth and creates plaque which includes acid. The acid in the plaque eats holes in your tooth (tooth decay) called cavities.
Floss, and floss often
Flossing gets all the plaque and harmful bacteria that you didn’t get while brushing, making it one of the most important daily habits you can do that prevent cavities and tooth decay. It doesn’t matter if you floss before or after brushing, as long as you do it. Grab that dental floss and gently maneuver it between your teeth after your next holiday party; you’ll be glad you did when you get a clean bill of oral health at your next dentist’s appointment—even after a season of sugar cookies, fudge, and all those other delicious holiday treats.
Avoid, or at least limit, the soda
The most popular drink offered at parties is soda. We’ve written about the disadvantages of soda for your teeth in a recent blog post; that sugary deliciousness has a negative impact on your oral health. So how can you still enjoy it and keep your teeth healthy? Limit your soda consumption and use a straw when you drink soda, if possible. Drink water after soda (or instead of soda), and swish in your mouth to reduce the amount of sugar on your teeth.
Be careful about hard treats
Your mouth is not a nut cracker, so be cautious when eating hard treats like brittle or toffee. Eating hard foods can damage your dentists’ careful work and your teeth. The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy; don’t kill that joy with a night of pain and an emergency visit to the dentist.
End the holiday season with a deep dental cleaning
When all the treats are done and the parties are over, schedule a dental cleaning to get a deep cleaning that cleans all the sugar away from the holiday season—leaving you only with sweet memories from the holiday season, and not with cavities in your sweet tooth.