Most of us think of the holiday season as a time of togetherness, celebration, and joy. For our smiles, however, the holidays are risky business.
That is why our Elmhurst dentists have put together this short article about navigating the holidays while protecting your smile…
Stay Alert For Problem Ingredients
For many of us, the holiday season is a time filled with homemade cookies, nostalgic candies, and celebratory libations. And, while all of these things help to create a festive mood, they can also create an ideal environment for oral bacteria to flourish.
Treats that are both sugary and sticky, like caramels or peppermints, can be especially damaging. These foods cling to your dental surfaces, and provide an easy-to-access fuel source for the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.
Rinsing your smile throughout the day (and night) will help your smile stay healthy, and your breath stay fresh. The very act of rinsing with water dislodges food particles and plaque. Additionally, every time that you rinse your smile you jump-start saliva production in your mouth. Because saliva is your body’s natural way of neutralizing bacteria and re-mineralizing plaque, this is a pretty important habit to get into.
It is our goal to keep bacterial activity to minimum in your mouth, and to protect your teeth from damage. To that end, we encourage you to make a plan about how and when you will consume holiday treats. Eating a cookie in one sitting, for example, is better for your smile than snacking on the same cookie continuously throughout the day. The goal is to limit the amount of time that oral bacteria are active and feeding on sugar.
If you want to learn more about how you can care for your smile during the holidays, or all year long, please contact our Elmhurst dentists to get started!