Bloomsburg, Danville, and Lewisburg, PA
The holidays are here, which means lots of good food. From decadent sweet treats to tasty cocktails, your smile can be under attack this holiday season. Since many holiday gatherings and parties center around foods and beverages that can damage your oral health, it’s necessary to exercise caution and carefully select items that protect and preserve your pearly whites. Our Bloomsburg family dentists at Hamilton Dental Care share on the blog today tips on keeping your smile merry and bright through the holidays so that you can minimize teeth and gum damage.
Sweets and Treats
Holidays bring candy, cakes, pies, cookies, and other sweets. Whether you make or receive baked goods, sugary treats are everywhere. Unfortunately, bacteria will have plenty to eat, causing tooth decay or cavities. If you can’t resist, eat dark chocolate with 60% cocoa or more. Dark chocolate has heart-healthy flavonoids and less sugar than other chocolate varieties like milk or white.
Soda and Alcohol
Sugary mixers like soda, juice, and alcohol may be offered at your holiday parties. Even if you take a non-alcoholic version and opt for the punch, it’ll still pack a lot of sugar that could harm your teeth. Sugary soda and juice increase bacterial activity, while alcohol is acidic and attacks tooth enamel. So, our family dentists recommend limiting soda and alcohol during the holidays. Instead, choose sparkling water or plain water. If you must partake in a tastier beverage, just be sure to drink lots of water with it to help rinse away staining substances and sugar residue.
Staring at the dessert table with pumpkin pie or cheesecake can be a tremendous temptation. But there are more effective ways to address your sweet tooth without causing too much oral health damage. Fresh seasonal fruit is perfect for helping curb your sweet tooth during the holidays and reducing the negative impact on oral health.
The calcium in dairy helps strengthen bones and teeth. Low-fat cheese, yogurt, and milk can protect teeth and gums from acidic holiday foods and drinks. However, some patients may be lactose intolerant or dairy sensitive. Our Bloomsburg family dentists recommend finding another calcium source in food or consulting with your doctor about taking a daily calcium supplement.
Holiday parties and gatherings are never short of food. Avoid grazing all day, even though it’s tempting. As you eat, bacteria have a constant food source and will work overtime, causing tooth decay or cavities. After everyone eats, store the leftovers to protect your oral health and waistline. Incorporating fun activities can shift the focus from food to fun.
Chewing gum between meals can reduce snacking and increase saliva production, rinsing away bacteria and food debris. Additionally, chewing gum for 20 minutes after each meal reduces bacterial activity and cavities. However, our family dentists warn that regular gum is high in sugar and can cause side effects. Choose sugar-free or xylitol gum to help reduce your risk of tooth decay.
Stocking Stuffers to Promote Good Oral Health
Stockings hanging from the mantle typically include small gifts, candy, and other items that could harm oral health. So, to help protect your smile, include oral health items like a new toothbrush, floss, or an oral hygiene travel kit. You can also surprise that special someone with an at-home teeth whitening kit that can keep their smile merry and bright year-round.
Family Dentists in Bloomsburg, Danville, and Lewisburg, PA
Your taste buds may be set for the upcoming holiday fare and may encourage you to eat more food than you should. However, following the above tips can reduce food’s impact on your smile this season. Once the festivities are over, contact our dentist’s office for a checkup and cleaning and to ensure that your oral health is on track for the new year. Please call Hamilton Dental Care at (570) 387-0533 or contact us online to request an appointment to keep your smile merry and bright through the holidays and beyond.