What’s on your wish list this holiday season? In addition to the clothes, gadgets, and jewelry that top your list, you might hope for healthy teeth. Don’t let candy, eggnog, and cookies ruin your goal—keep your smile merry and bright this season with these eight holiday dental tips from Evanson DDS.
Limit Your Sweets
Candy and other sweet treats are readily available during the holidays. Family and friends give each other goodies, and people make exceptions to their diets as they splurge at this special time of year.
However, your waistline isn’t the only thing that suffers when you ingest excessive sweets—your teeth may also start to decay and develop cavities. Treat yourself on occasion, but avoid overdoing it, and always remember to brush and floss afterward.
Watch What You Drink
Sugary sodas and acidic wines are commonly served at holiday parties. These drinks may taste good, but they don’t contribute to a bright and healthy smile. Consider substituting carbonated water for soda, and only drink wine with food to mitigate the amount that lingers on your teeth.
Choose the Right Stocking Stuffers
Traditionally, stockings are filled with sweets that lead to cavities. Start a new family tradition this year, and place a fresh toothbrush in each stocking to start the New Year off right. Then, replace candies with fresh fruit and nuts to enjoy on Christmas morning.
Balance Cookies with Fruits & Veggies
The tray of fresh-baked cookies and brownies is tempting, but strive to fill most of your plate with fruits and veggies instead. This balance still lets you satisfy your sweet tooth while ensuring you also load up on vitamin A and other minerals that strengthen your enamel.
Enjoy Your Dairy
Low-fat cheese and milk are healthy options for neutralizing the effects of alcoholic beverages and other acidic food and drinks commonly served at holiday parties. The calcium in dairy is also good for building strong teeth.
Avoid Snacking All Day
It’s common to leave food out all day for people to nibble on at their leisure. “Grazing” not only leads to weight gain around the holidays, but the steady influx of food means you’re giving the bacteria in your mouth constant fuel to eat, increasing the chance of tooth decay. To prevent this, get out food at mealtimes and tuck leftovers away once everyone has had their fill.
If you change the focus of the holiday season from food to enjoying time with family and friends, you reduce the temptation to eat constantly. This is good news for your teeth as well as your waistline!
Chew Gum After Each Meal
Gum is the perfect thing to munch on after lunch. It helps prevent ongoing snacking and produces extra saliva to more quickly wash away bacteria that lead to plaque formation. Make sure the gum you choose is sugar-free or, better yet, contains xylitol, a natural sugar alcohol that helps prevent tooth decay. Just 20 minutes of gum-chewing after each meal provides substantial cavity-fighting benefits.
Choose Dark Over Milk & White Chocolate
If you’re a chocoholic, consider switching from milk or white chocolate to dark chocolate containing 60 percent or more cocoa. Not only does dark chocolate contain less sugar, but it’s also packed with flavonoids, which are compounds that help protect your heart.
How does this relate to dental health, you might ask? Well, several heart-related conditions—including diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure—can have adverse effects on your teeth and gums. By taking good care of your heart, you also protect your smile.
Happy Holidays from Evanson DDS!
If you need help implementing these holiday dental tips, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Evanson today. We are always available to talk with you about your dental concerns to ensure you keep your smile merry and bright! To ask a question, or to schedule your next appointment with us, please call our Parker office at (720) 409-0008 or contact us online.Leave a reply →