With all of the holiday parties and festivities comes all those goodies and sweets! Although it can be hard to limit ourselves to ‘just a few’, there are some things you can do to make sure you’re protecting your teeth. If your overall dental health is good and you practice good oral hygiene, you can probably safely indulge in some holiday treats as long as you do so in moderation. We did some research so you can enjoy the holiday season, treat yourself, but still keep that beautiful smile. Below are a few things to keep in mind…
- Don’t eat constantly throughout the day. Waiting a couple hours between eating will allow saliva to neutralize acid and repair tooth enamel.
- Try to avoid sticky treats (taffy), extremely hard (peanut brittle), or chewy (caramel). These types of treats can break your teeth, pull out fillings and interfere with crowns.
- If available, stick to soft treats, ones that melt in your mouth (peanut butter cups, chocolate kisses, thinly sliced fruit, etc.), and brush and floss after eating them. A teeth-whitening toothpaste wouldn’t hurt if you’re indulging in lots of caffeinated beverages.
- If you can, sip with a straw, it can help minimize the acids direct contact with your teeth.
- Once you finish your holiday cocktail, keep yourself from chewing on the ice, it can damage the tooth enamel (as well as braces).
- Don’t always ‘rush to brush’…brushing your teeth immediately after eating highly acidic foods can accelerate acid wear. Wait an hour or so before brushing to let some of the acid wear off. You may also want to consider a specially formulated, low-abrasion toothpaste that helps re-harden enamel.
- Try chewing sugar-free gum following a meal, it can activate saliva and help wash away debris.
- Swish water around in your mouth for 15-20 seconds after eating anything acidic. You can stop the acid attack on your teeth and stimulate the production of saliva, nature’s original neutralizer, works better than mouthwash because it won’t dry out your mouth.
We know the holiday season can be a crazy and stressful time. Make sure that you’re eating healthy, exercising and taking care of yourself…it’s amazing what stress can do to your body. Also, make sure to keep up on your 6 month cleanings. Your teeth, and your mouth, will thank you.
Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt, DDS by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.
Dr. Lunt gladly accepts patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.