The holidays, for many people, is a time of indulgence. We’re surrounded by cookies, candies, and other sweet treats—what to do? Our Elmhurst dentists have some tips for you to keep in mind, so keep reading to get more information!
Let’s start by reviewing why sweets are so problematic for your oral health. Your mouth is full of bacteria—some good and some bad. Oral bacteria feed on sugars and refined carbohydrates. So, when you eat or drink something sweet, harmful oral bacteria go to town feasting on dental debris. Bacteria use the energy from sugar to multiply and grow.
Obviously, the first thing that you can do in order to keep your smile healthy is to limit the number of treats that you consume during the holiday season.
Beyond that, make sure that you are drinking plenty of water along with that yummy cider and cocoa. Water helps to rinse away dental debris, and keep bacteria from sticking to your teeth. Water also helps you stay hydrated, and when you are hydrated, your body is able to produce saliva (a substance that naturally neutralizes bacteria and re-mineralizes enamel).
When you do indulge in a sweet treat, try to do so in a limited period of time. So, for example, if you are going to eat four cookies, it is actually better for your smile if you eat them in one sitting, rather than chomping on cookies throughout the day. This is because oral bacteria stay active and feeding in your smile for about 20 to 30 minutes after you eat. Don’t give bacteria too many chances to feed and grow!
Want to learn more? Our Elmhurst dentists are here to help you make the best decisions for your smile. Call our team to schedule a consultation and develop an optimal oral hygiene plan!