For many, this is their “most favorite time of the year”. We are bombarded with sweets and treats from Halloween through Thanksgiving, on to Christmas and New Years. From candy corn to decadent desserts to candy canes, there is a constant barrage of sweets this time of the year. And it does take a toll on your teeth … but the good news is, you don’t have to completely give up sugar (after all what kind of holiday would that be?) Here are a few quick tips that we put together to make your holiday cavity free.
#1: The less time you keep the sugary food in your mouth, the better- You don’t want to eat sugary foods that linger in your mouth. For example, sucking on a candy cane or any hard candy is much worse than eating a slice of chocolate cake. This is because the hard candy takes hours to suck on, whereas the piece of cake is eaten very quickly. The longer your teeth sit in sugar, the more likely the bacteria in your mouth are to start secreting acid and activating plaque.
#2: Eat those holiday treats after your main meal – If the treat contains a high amount of sugar, don’t consume it as a snack but rather alongside a meal. That way all of your exposure to sugar is at one time and not throughout the day. Also the drinks and other foods from your meal, help to wash away that sugar from sticking to your teeth.
#3: Rinse with water. If you must have that snack, immediately rinse with water, which serves to neutralize the acids in your mouth after indulging in the sweet and washes away much of the sugar that is on the teeth.
#4: Don’t brush- for at least 30 minutes – Whenever bacteria in your mouth come in contact with something sweet, or processed, they start to produce an acid which leaves your teeth vulnerable as the top layer of your tooth softens. Scrubbing with a toothbrush, can slowly erode that soft layer. Give yourself 30 minutes before brushing as the tooth will reharden and be less vulnerable.
#5: Remember to Brush, Floss, and visit the Dentist before the end of the year – Of course this is a must, but this time of the year can also be exhausting and stressful. Sometimes you will be too tired to brush your teeth before bed and skip it, or you will miss that scheduled dental appointment because you have so many things you have to do- That is the last thing you want to do. This is the season to be even more vigilant.
We hope you enjoyed these tips. Feel free to ask your dentist at Garden Oaks Dental any other questions you may have regarding cosmetic, and family dentistry including questions about traditional and invisible braces (Clearcorrect), as well as questions about your little ones teeth! We’re happy to help.