November 9, 2021
The holidays bring a feeling of excitement, but they also bring an array of sweet treats like cookies, cakes, and pies. These foods play a big role in the damage many people do to their teeth during the holidays, but other seasonal habits can increase your risk of developing oral health issues. Read on to learn more about the things that can harm your pearly whites this holiday season and how to protect your oral health in Phillipsburg.
The Biggest Cavity Culprits
Holidays like Thanksgiving, Hannukah, and Christmas are often celebrated with tons of carb-heavy, sugar-packed baked goods. The carbs in these foods are broken down into sugar, and the sugar is combined with oral bacteria to form plaque. The longer plaque remains on your teeth, the more time it has to eat away at your enamel, which will ultimately lead to the formation of cavities. Even so, the amount of food you consume and how often you do so impact your oral health just as much as the types of foods you eat.
Snacking Throughout the Day
Whether you munch on sweet treats throughout the day or eat leftovers from your last family dinner, this constant eating can put additional stress on your gums and teeth. This is because eating all the tine prevents your mouth from producing enough saliva to wash away food debris and neutralize bacteria. The pH levels on the mouth also change when we eat, so constant snacking leaves the environment more acidic than usual. To lessen your risk of developing cavities, only eat at designated mealtimes and try to break this habit before the holidays.
Changes to Your Routine
Though it’s commonly overlooked, going on vacation can throw off your routine. If you forget your toothbrush or dental floss and are unable to clean your teeth while you’re away, this can have a devastating impact on your oral health. Staying up late to spend time with friends and family and then heading straight to bed without doing your nightly dental routine can also cause damage to your teeth.
Tips to Protect Your Oral Health During the Holidays
Though there are countless opportunities for your oral health to suffer during the holidays, there are also several ways to protect your mouth from harm, including:
- Travel kit – Keep a dental kit that includes a toothbrush, dental floss, and portable mouthwash on you when traveling.
- Drink water – Make sure to drink water during or after meals, especially if you’re snacking throughout the day. This will help wash away bacteria and food debris.
- Eat a tooth-healthy diet – Eat and drink things that aren’t harmful to teeth, like turkey, carrots, squash, spinach, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese.
- Cut back on sugar – When choosing a dessert, opt for ones with less or zero sugar, such as dark chocolate and sugar-free candy.
The holidays are a great time to visit with family and friends, but don’t sacrifice your oral health in the process. Make sure to schedule a checkup with your dentist and follow the above tips to ensure that your smile remains as healthy as can be!
About the Practice
DeMartino Dental Group strives to provide the residents of Phillipsburg with the compassionate, effective dental care they need to maintain happy teeth. Led by Dr. Jeffrey R. DeMartino and Dr. Nélida Garcia-DeMartino, they offer a range of preventive, cosmetic, and restorative treatment options to give you the smile of your dreams. If you’re interested in setting up a consultation or have questions about how to maintain good oral health throughout the holidays, visit their website or call their office at (908) 859-5260.
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