There’s no two ways about it; eating healthy and taking care of your teeth is just harder during the holidays. Here are a few tips to help you get through this sugar-filled season cavity-free!
During the month of December, it’s almost inevitable that your sugar intake will increase, be it via those ubiquitous candy canes, cookies and other baked treated, or increased alcohol consumption.
How can we make sure we take extra special care of our teeth and gums, to make sure our smiles are as healthy in January as they were in November?
Hall Dental to the rescue! These tips and ideas from Dr. Hall and his team to help keep your smile healthy over Christmas.
Tip #1: The best time to eat sugary sweets is during or directly after mealtimes.
It’s not so much the amount of sugar we eat… it’s how long it lingers in our mouths.
When we eat, our mouths produce more saliva. That saliva function to wash away food particles and sugars that night otherwise linger on the teeth, leading to decay and cavities.
Tip #2: Choose your treats wisely.
This tip is related to tip #1. The sweets that can cause the most oral health problems are hard candies and sticky toffee style treats that remain in your mouth for an extended period of time. If possible, select a cookie or something that can be consumed fairly quickly.
Tip #3: Take extra care during your oral hygiene routine.
This one may be obvious, but some people need a reminder! During times of heightened sugar consumption, it’s important to be extra vigilant about our oral hygiene. You may want to add an extra brushing session to your day (perhaps around lunch time), or swish out your mouth with some water shortly after indulging.
While you’re brushing, be sure to carefully and thoroughly brush each quadrant of your teeth, and brush for a full two minutes. During flossing, slowly and methodically run the floss up and down the sides of each tooth. Really take your time!
Tip #4: Replace your toothbrush – or better yet, invest in an electric toothbrush.
Make sure you’re brushing with a nice fresh toothbrush during this time of year for optimal cleaning.
We also often recommend an electric toothbrush for patients who are looking to improve their oral hygiene. Electric toothbrushes make it easy to brush, and provide a more thorough, deep clean in less time. They also make it easier to brush those hard to reach spots at the back of your mouth.
Be sure to choose an electric toothbrush with a round, rotating head, as this mimics the ideal brushing motion.
Tip #5: Chew sugarless gum
Chewing gum does not clean your teeth the way brushing and flossing do, and should not be considered a replacement for a good oral hygiene routine. However, chewing gum does increase saliva production, and saliva helps wash away sugars and acids from your teeth an gums.