It’s no secret that this time of year brings lots of sweet and sugary treats. It’s never easy staying healthy during the holidays since edible temptations seem to pop out at every turn. Being on top of your oral health during the holiday season helps to ensure your teeth and gums will be in tiptop shape come 2017. Take a look below at some of our tips for a healthy and happy smile in the new year.
Limit the amount of sugary snacks you eat
An excessive amount of sugar is the number one way to wreck your teeth over the coming months. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar, creating acid. This acid can eat away at tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay and cavities. The more your expose your teeth to sugar, the higher the risk that your will face dental problems in the future.
Know what type of sugar is best
Although no sugary snack is good in excess, certain type of candy and sugar are better to ingest than others. Hard and sticky candies, such as taffy and caramel, can be worse for teeth than other treats such as cake and cookies. Chewing on hard candies can lead to chipped or cracked teeth, which are painful and pricey to treat. Letting the candy dissolve naturally in your mouth is a better option than crushing it with your teeth. Sticky candies and substances cling to teeth even after they are ingested, encouraging tooth decay. In addition, thick candies like taffy and caramel can even rip out fillings.
Cracking nuts with your teeth is a no-no
Limiting the amount of sweet treats for you and your entire family is important, but not the only way to make certain teeth and gums stay strong.
Snacking on nuts is a great and healthy alternative to candy, but cracking nuts with your teeth can be just as harmful. Attempting to shell nuts with your pearly whites can lead to serious tooth and gum damage or even cracked teeth. Shelling nuts before snacking on them is your best bet to keep from an emergency dental office visit.
Never attempt to open packaging or bottles with your teeth
You may be excited to rip into that gift from your great aunt, but your teeth are not the right tools for the task. Gripping a bottle cap or package with your teeth can crack them and possibly require a root canal or crown fro repair. Reach for scissors or a bottle opener instead of using your teeth to opening packaging.
Brush, brush, brush!
The most obvious, but also most important, tip to keeping your smile healthy this holiday season is brushing your teeth. Brushing teeth in the morning and at night, as well as after eating sugary treats, will help combat the damage this time of year can do to your oral health.
If you have any questions about how to keep your smile healthy this season, don’t hesitate to give our office a call. We’re happy to help!