The holidays are upon us, and, for many people, this means that we’re about to be inundated with treats and goodies that may not be great for our smiles. Today, our Elmhurst dentists are giving you some tips on managing your oral health during the holidays. Let’s get started!
The first thing to do is to recognize which types of foods and drinks can lead to dental damage. Generally speaking, those items that have a lot of sugars or refined carbohydrates ramp up bacteria production in your mouth. Additionally, acidic substances weaken your dental enamel, and increase your risk of developing damage and cavities.
- Once you understand which kinds of foods and drinks are high-risk, you can adjust your eating and drinking habits accordingly. Obviously, it’s best to avoid sugary and acidic substances as much as possible. However, when you do indulge, try to do so in a short, time-limited period, rather than doing so continuously. Keep in mind that oral bacteria stay active and feeding for about 20 to 30 minutes after you’re done eating or drinking; we’re trying to keep this “feeding time” to a minimum.
- One good habit that you can develop during the holidays is to rinse your teeth with water after you eat. Not only does this dislodge dental debris and food particles, it also prompts your body to release saliva into your mouth. Saliva works to neutralize bacteria and re-mineralize enamel.
- Take care not to chomp or chew on hard candies or mints. These types of sweets are prevalent during the holidays, and chewing on them can lead to tooth fracture and gum tissue damage.
If you have questions about how to best care for your smile, during the holidays or otherwise, our Elmhurst dentists are here to give you all of the information you need. Give us a call!