It’s the holiday season, and the last thing you’re probably thinking about is your teeth. But did you know that almost 1/3 of American adults have undiagnosed cavities? Unfortunately, most people don’t feel cavities until they’ve gotten bigger and need more extensive dental work to fix. And during the holidays, all the extra candy and desserts around don’t help matters. But that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in festive food this year! Keep reading for 6 easy things you can do to enjoy yourself, and avoid needing work from a dentist in Texas City at the same time.
1. Do a Great Job With Your Oral Hygiene
Good brushing and flossing is always the foundation for a healthy smile, but especially when there are so many holiday goodies at home and in the breakroom at work.
Although it’s easy to get out of your routine, it’s extra important to be consistent with your brushing and flossing at this time of year.
2. Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Want a convenient, on-the-go way to protect your teeth from all the extra sugar that’s around? Keep some sugar-free gum around when you can’t brush and floss after a meal or snack.
It will increase salivary flow, wash away residual sugars, and neutralize the acids that cause cavities.
3. Enjoy Sweets At the Right Time
You already know that it’s important to limit the amount of sugar you eat, but did you know that how frequently you consume it also makes a difference?
It’s helpful to remember the phrase, “Sip all day, get decay” to remind you to consume sweet foods and beverages in one sitting rather than snacking all day.
4. Pack Travel Sizes
If you’re traveling during the holidays, leave your normal hygiene supplies at home and pack a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and anti-cavity mouthwash instead.
Also, for long trips, bring low-sugar snacks like apples, string cheese, or beef jerky along.
5. Choose the Right Foods
If you’ve had a lot of dental work, be careful with particularly hard or crunchy foods like peanut brittle or nuts. Also, minimize sticky sweets like caramel and toffee because they adhere to the teeth and increase the risk of tooth decay.
6. Schedule a Checkup
Right now, it’s a great time to schedule a checkup and cleaning to make sure you don’t have undiagnosed cavities that can be treated when they’re small and easy to fix. You’ll also get a professional cleaning and polish to help your smile look great.
Use these 6 tips to help you have a great holiday season and stay cavity-free at the same time!
About the Author
Dr. Hackbarth (aka Dr. H) is a family dentist in Texas City who wants to help his patients enjoy healthy smiles during the holidays. Especially at this time of year, his focus is on helping his patients prevent the need for dental work as much as possible. If you have any questions about good oral health during the holidays, he can be reached via his website or at (409) 935-2111.