The holidays are in full swing, and so are the holiday treats! With sweets everywhere—not to mention a busy season—how can you make sure you are maintaining your oral health?
Here are a few tips to help you avoid cavities and other pitfalls this holiday season.
Skip hard candies and sticky sweets.
It’s nearly impossible to avoid sugar during the holidays, but even if you still want to indulge on some of your favorite treats this season, it’s a good idea to be selective when you can.
That’s because certain sweets can actually be worse for your teeth than others. Hard candies, which require you to suck on them, leave sugar in your mouth for a long time, basically giving your teeth a sugar bath. Sticky sweets or things that can get stuck in your teeth, like caramel, popcorn, and chewy candies can have the same effect.
Water is good for your oral health in general (not to mention your overall health). One reason for this is that it helps to wash away some food particles that would have otherwise remained on your teeth. Plus, water doesn’t contain the sugar that other drinks do, so if your sugar intake is going up because of all the treats, water gives your teeth a healthy, much-needed break.
Take floss with you.
While it may be a little awkward to brush your teeth at a party, floss is easier to use discreetly. Flossing quickly after you finish your food or a plate of desserts is a great way to clean the spaces between your teeth, giving sugars less chance to stick around.
Maintain good oral hygiene habits.
The holidays are a busy time of year, but that is no reason to let your oral health habits fall by the wayside. Stay on top of regular brushing and flossing. That means brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Some people also like to add fluoride mouthwash to their daily routine, which can help wash away bacteria and help strengthen teeth.
When you chew gum, your mouth produces saliva, which naturally helps wash away bacteria in the mouth. Choose a sugar-free gum to minimize sugar intake.
Schedule your next cleaning.
It’s important to visit your dentist and have your teeth professionally cleaned every 6 months. If you haven’t been recently or don’t have your next appointment scheduled, now is the time to get it done! Schedule your visit for right after the holidays and start the new year with a fresh, clean mouth.
Don’t feel like you have to miss out on your favorite holiday treats in order to avoid cavities this season. Rather, pay attention to how much sugar you’re eating, what types of sweets you’re enjoying, and how you care for your teeth afterwards. With proper care, your teeth will be as merry and bright as the holidays!