Keeping your mouth and teeth healthy during the holidays takes a little bit of effort, but it’s worth it! The holidays bring lots of sweets, whether it’s a plate of goodies from the neighbor or a holiday party with friends and family. Sweets are in abundance! Eating and drinking sugary foods and drinks for prolonged periods of time increases your chances of gum disease and tooth decay.
It’s easy during the holidays to over-indulge in foods that are not healthy for your teeth. Although you may not be able to avoid eating sweets altogether, with a little pre-planning, you can get through the holidays with healthy teeth intact.
Tips for Healthy Teeth and a Healthy Mouth During This Festive Season:
- Cheese contains calcium and phosphate, natural cavity-fighting agents that help balance pH levels in the mouth. This preserves tooth enamel, produces saliva, and kills bacteria that cause cavities and disease. If you’re drinking alcoholic drinks or soft drinks, cheese helps neutralize the acid in these beverages.
- The meat tray is a tooth-friendly food. It is a great source of protein, which helps fight tooth decay and will keep your teeth strong and healthy.
- Vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and cucumbers can help clean your teeth and gums by removing food particles that can build up into plaque.
- Fruits, such as apples and strawberries clean your teeth while you eat. The natural fibers of these fruits work together with the saliva in your mouth, and help wash away food particles.
- If you’re going to eat sweets, eat them with your meal. The saliva produced in your mouth during your meal will help wash down the sugar so it doesn’t linger on your teeth.
- Drink lots of water. Water cleans the mouth, keeps your gums hydrated and washes away food particles from your teeth. Water also produces saliva that provides essential minerals that help to build tooth enamel.
Holiday Foods to Avoid
It’s not surprising that sweets are not recommended when it comes to healthy teeth goals, but some foods and sweets are notoriously bad for your teeth.
- Hard candy can crack or chip a tooth if you bite down wrong. Candy canes are loaded with sugar and they take a long time to finish, bathing your mouth in sticky sugar for a prolonged period of time.
- Caramels, taffy, and peanut brittle are notorious for pulling out fillings, bridgework, or braces. This type of candy “sticks” on your teeth, increasing the chance for cavities.
- Holiday drinks with alcohol can dry out your mouth and prohibit the production of saliva, which results in sugary residue remaining in your mouth for longer periods of time. Red wine stains your teeth and the acidic quality eats away at your enamel, as do carbonated beverages.
- Caramel Popcorn is a sugary snack with an occasional popcorn kernel that can break a fragile tooth.
Achieve and Maintain Healthy Teeth
Regular dental visits are one of the most important things you can do for healthy teeth. Cleanings should be performed at least every six months to prevent excessive plaque buildup. If left untreated, plaque can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay.
Located at 17167 E. Cedar Gulch Parkway #202 in Parker, Colorado, Dr. Evanson’s office is also conveniently accessible to the communities of Highlands Ranch, Aurora, Castle Rock and Lone Tree.
Celebrations and holidays are times to enjoy, and with some preparation, you can manage your dental health and celebrate at the same time!