We love the holidays at Dr. Blum and Associates. But what we don’t love is tooth decay or tooth pain! When it’s beginning to look a lot like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any holiday you celebrate, it often begins to look a lot like some holiday feasting is about to take place. We have some tips for how to keep your teeth healthy during the holidays.
We don’t mean you have to carry a toothbrush and toothpaste around in your pocket to have healthy teeth during the holidays. You can enjoy everything the season has to offer without sacrificing your oral health. Here are a few foods and drinks to be aware of so that your smile can be both merry and healthy.
These are some foods and drinks that affect your dental health during the holidays:
You can still enjoy holiday treats by practicing a little preventive maintenance. Here are some good strategies to protect your teeth and healthy smile:
In these winter holidays, maintain clean, strong teeth so that those you love can see your healthy smile. As always, don’t forget to get your regular checkups and cleanings at Dr. Blum and Associates. Schedule yours in advance, whether you’re preparing for the holidays or cleaning up after them.
As grown-ups, we realize that our teeth require consistent care. Starting proper dental habits when children are very young translates into better oral health for life. Truth be told, the disregard of a kid’s teeth and general oral wellbeing can have genuine results that could last well into adulthood.
Here is a tip to make sure your kids are brushing correctly and taking care of their teeth as they grow. The American Dental Association’s recommendation is to stand behind your young children and have them look up at you in the mirror as brushing time daily. This causes the mouth to hang open more for better reach and allows them to emulate you to learn to brush properly.
It is also important to educate your children that certain kinds of foods and beverages can cause discoloring or decay. The ADA Healthline.com website suggests being careful and educated with the following:
It’s not surprising that candy is bad for your mouth. But sour candy contains more and different kinds of acids that are tougher on your teeth. Plus, because they’re chewy, they stick to your teeth for a longer time, so they’re more likely to cause decay. If you’re craving sweets, grab a square of chocolate instead, which you can chew quickly and wash away easily.
Think twice as you walk down the supermarket bread aisle. When you chew bread, your saliva breaks down the starches into sugar. Now transformed into a gummy paste-like substance, the bread sticks to the crevices between teeth. And that can cause cavities. When you’re craving some carbs, aim for less-refined varieties like whole wheat. These contain less added sugars and aren’t as easily broken down.
We all know that little, if any, good comes from soda or pop, even if it’s got the word “diet” on the can. A recent study even found that drinking large quantities of carbonated soda could be as damaging to your teeth as using methamphetamine and crack cocaine. Carbonated sodas enable plaque to produce more acid to attack tooth enamel. So if you sip soda all day, you’re essentially coating your teeth in acid. Plus it dries out your mouth, meaning you have less saliva. And last but not least, dark-colored sodas can discolor or stain your teeth. A note: don’t brush your teeth immediately after drinking a soda; this could actually hasten decay.
In their natural form, coffee and tea can be healthy beverage choices. Unfortunately, too many people can’t resist adding sugar. Caffeinated coffee and tea can also dry out your mouth. Frequent drinks of coffee and tea may also stain your teeth. If you do consume, make sure to drink plenty of water and try to keep the add-ons to a minimum.
Oranges, grapefruits, and lemons are tasty as both fruits and juices and are packed with vitamin C. But their acid content can erode enamel, making teeth more vulnerable to decay. Even squeezing a lemon or lime into water adds acid to a drink. Plus, acid from citrus can be bothersome to mouth sores. If you want to get a dose of their antioxidants and vitamins, eat and drink them in moderation at mealtime and rinse with water afterwards.
The crunch of a potato chip is eternally satisfying to many of us. Unfortunately, they’re loaded with starch, which becomes sugar that can get trapped in and between the teeth and feed the bacteria in the plaque. Since we rarely have just one, the acid production from the chips lingers and lasts awhile. After you’ve gorged on a bag, floss to remove the trapped particles.
You likely assume that dried fruits are a healthy snack. That may be true, but many dried fruits — apricots, prunes, figs, and raisins, to name a few — are sticky. They get stuck and cling in the teeth and their crevices, leaving behind lots of sugar. If you do like to eat dried fruits, make sure you rinse your mouth with water, and then brush and floss after. And because they’re less concentrated with sugar, it is a better choice to eat the fresh versions instead!
There’s no doubt a cold sports drink is refreshing after a good workout. But these drinks are usually high in sugar. Like soda or candy, sugary sports drinks create an acid attack on the enamel of your teeth. Drinking them frequently can lead to decay. A better way to for your kids to stay hydrated after sports or play is to chug sugar-free, calorie-free water.
Source: ADA Healthline.com and WebMD.com