oral care; healthcare; holiday tips

4 Oral Health Tips for the Holidays

Nothing like going to the dentist and leaving with fresh breath and cavity-free! To maintain those healthy teeth, your dentist might advise you to stay away from those surgery drinks and tasty treats. With the holidays approaching, that could sound like torture. Keep calm, with these few oral tips; you can indulge in all those holiday sweets without encouraging any new toothaches.

Don’t overindulge with the sweets. If you can help it, limit your intake of sugary foods and desserts. According to Healthline, “a select group of harmful bacteria produces acid in your mouth whenever they encounter and digest sugar”. This process is known as remineralization, unfortunately, the acid from those sugars is breaking down the tooth enamel. This is the outer layer of protection for your teeth; when this is broken down over time, you are prone to developing cavities. You don’t necessarily have to give up the sweets, just enjoy in moderation.

Drink water often with and in-between meals. Water is a great way to rinse and wash away let over food lingering in your mouth, around your gums and tongue. It may not be as effective as a mouth wash, but water doesn’t contribute to the harm of your teeth enamel as it is flushing away leftover particles before they stick.

Try to brush after each meal. It is recommended to brush your teeth at least twice daily. But, during the holiday season, it can be good to strive to brush more often given that you are in taking more food and beverages. In the New York Times, article, it is advised to wait at least 20-30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth. Remineralization occurs after sugar enters your mouth and brushing your teeth too soon can speed up that process.

Floss often, if a toothbrush is not accessible at the moment. Of course, it is not likely to keep a toothbrush handy in your pocket, but it could be easier to travel with some floss. Along with drinking your water, floss also is a convenient option to remove leftover food trying to settle in-between your teeth. “More than 500 bacterial species can be found in plaque”, according to the American Dental Association; “Cleaning between teeth removes plaque that can lead to cavities or gum disease from the areas where a toothbrush can’t reach”.

Yes, it is possible to maintain a healthy smile during the holidays. You can happily give into sweet sugary temptation as long as you continue good dental hygiene practices. If you have any additional concerns or need more oral advice, reach out to your dentist for their expertise.

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