The holiday season is upon us. With the holidays comes the temptation to indulge in sweets at home, the office, parties and more.
When you eat sugary foods or drinks, naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugar and create acids as a by-product. These acids then wear down the tooth enamel, making it weaker and more susceptible to tooth decay as well as a host of other problems, including gingivitis. Snacking on sweets throughout the day or during an extended period of time (such as at a holiday party) is especially harmful, since damaging acids form in the mouth every time you eat a sugary snack and continue to affect the teeth for at least 20 minutes afterwards. Sweets and sugary beverages can increase the chance of tooth decay and gum disease. ?But just because the holidays mean more sweets and treats, that doesn?t mean you have to end up at Krengel Dental with cavities come January!
The best way to avoid cavities while still enjoying your holiday indulgences is to practice good oral hygiene. Here are some tips to help:
- Avoid chewy, sticky candies that will linger in your mouth. The longer sugar hangs around in your mouth, the more time it has to break down into the acids that can damage teeth and cause cavities.
- After consuming high-acid food (fruits) or drinks (wine), rinse with water before brushing your teeth to prevent tooth erosion from the acids.
- Keep a toothbrush and travel-size toothpaste handy so that you can brush right after eating at holiday parties.
- If you’re unable to brush your teeth after eating, rinsing your mouth thoroughly with water or chewing sugar-free gum will help to wash away food particles, produce more saliva and neutralize acids in your mouth
Most importantly, brush and floss regularly and make an appointment at Krengel Dental to start 2014 off on the right foot!