For most of us, one of the highlights of the annual holiday season is the prospect of eating all those sugary holiday treats. But according to the American Dental Association (ADA), naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugar we consume. Acid is produced as a result, and this acid can eat away at tooth enamel, which can lead to tooth decay and cavities.
But don’t despair. There are some simple things you can do so that you and your family can enjoy your holiday sweets and still maintain a healthy mouth.
In addition to brushing twice a day for at least two minutes and flossing daily, brush and/or floss right after eating sweets or desserts whenever possible. If you can’t brush, at least rinse your mouth with water to wash away sugar, acids and any other food that may be stuck to your teeth.
Sweet treats such as cake and cookies are preferable to hard candy and candy that sticks to the teeth. The more time teeth spend exposed to sugar, the higher the risk of dental health problems.
Don’t forget about soda and juice. They contain high amounts of sugar and can do just as much damage to your teeth as they wash over teeth and gums.
Say “cheese.” Cheese neutralizes acid in the mouth. So distract your kids with kid-friendly cheese sticks.
Incorporate dessert into the holiday meal instead of serving it last. When you eat sugar at the same time as a balanced meal, the healthy foods displace the sugar from your teeth and help neutralize acids from the ingested sugar.
Give your children mouth-healthy stocking stuffers. Include a toothbrush decorated with their favorite cartoon character along with some colored floss as a reminder that taking care of their teeth can be fun.
Start the new year by making appointments for regular dental checkups for you and your family. If you are looking for a dentist in the Troy and Birmingham area who utilizes the latest dental techniques and technology, be sure to check out Dr. Douglas Angell. Angell’s Dentistry is committed to providing each of our patients with a beautiful, healthy smile and unmatched dental care. Be sure to visit our website at: www.angellsdentistry.com.