During the holiday season, it is easy to be bombarded with lots of sweet treats and other foods that are not necessarily good for your teeth. Unfortunately, what you eat can take a toll on your dental health. To help keep your dental health on track, here are some tips for surviving the holidays and all the rich and sweet foods that come with it.
Snack the Right Way
You do not have to skip out on sweet treats during the holidays to keep your dental health on track. Instead, you need to focus on snacking the right way. Do not succumb to constant snacking throughout the day. The prolonged exposure of sugars and acids to your teeth can cause enamel erosion, which leaves your teeth susceptible to dental problems such as cavities.
To limit the sugar and acid exposure, snack at intervals. For instance, you can opt to have a sweet treat after lunch or after dinner. After snacking, rinse your mouth with water to help facilitate the removal of sugars and acids from the teeth. You should also consider increasing your water intake throughout the day to help keep the levels of food residue in your mouth low.
Additionally, you need to avoid snacking in the hour before bed. When you are asleep, your mouth produces less saliva, which means more acids and sugars eating away at your teeth enamel as you sleep.
Use a Straw for Drinks and Chew Gum
When you use a straw for drinks and chew gum, you help to keep the levels of harmful bacteria in your mouth low. A straw helps to steer sticky and acidic beverages away from your teeth. It also helps to keep staining to a minimum.
Sugar-free gum containing xylitol helps to increase saliva production. The additional saliva helps to wash away the bacteria and keep it at low levels.
Wait to Brush Your Teeth
Even though brushing your teeth immediately after eating sounds like a good idea, it can actually be harmful to your teeth. Sugar and acid tend to soften your teeth enamel temporarily. When you brush immediately after eating, you can speed up the erosion of the enamel. Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing and flossing your teeth.
Consult with your family dentist to learn if there are other ways you can protect your teeth and gums during the holiday season. By working with your dentist, you can help ensure that you come out of the holiday season with your good dental health intact.