This holiday season is filled with lots of temptations. From peppermint patties and Santa cookies to sugar plums, homemade caramels, fudge, and Grandma’s infamous fruitcake, sweets are a permanent part of December’s menu.
But if you’re worried about the health of your teeth, all of these sugary temptations can start to take a toll. But at First Hill Dental Center, we’re not here to be a scrooge and say you have to avoid all sweets. Instead, we’re here to help you protect your teeth through the holidays! That’s why we’ve come up with different tips to help you choose what’s best for your teeth.
Routine family dental care gives your teeth a proper cleaning and ensures that you don’t have any cavities or other teeth problems that need to be addressed. You can schedule an appointment at First Hill Dental Center in Seattle today.
Tips for Protecting Your Teeth From Sweets
Sugary sweets, especially if you’re consuming more sweets than normal during the holidays, can wear down and weaken the enamel on your teeth. But there are different things you can do to ensure you’re protecting those teeth and adequately removing sugary residue between your sugary indulgences.
Read through our tips and suggestions and ensure you start the year with a perfect smile!
Brush and Floss Regularly
You might be busier during the holidays, but if you’re eating more sweets you don’t want to fall behind on your brushing and flossing routine. Each time you brush, you want to make sure you’re removing particles from between your teeth that can cause tooth decay.
If you know you’re traveling or will be on the go this holiday season, bring along a disposable toothbrush and pre-threaded dental floss pick! They are extremely handy and especially great if you don’t know when you’ll be offered a surprise sweet.
For more information on proper brushing etiquette, read our post about the right way to brush your teeth. In addition, if you know that you have sensitive teeth and are prone to cavities, also take some time to read through our five treatments for sensitive teeth.
Drink Plenty of Water
Are you drinking water every time you eat? Not only is water great for keeping you hydrated, but it can also help protect your teeth. The fluoride in the water is good for your teeth and the water will help remove any leftover debris from anything you’ve eaten — including sweets.
Limit the Eggnog
We know that you’ve waited all year long for your eggnog spiked with a little bit of alcohol. But did you know that alcohol can irritate the soft tissues in your mouth while also decreasing your natural production of saliva? Both of those things can lead to unhealthy teeth. In addition, heavy alcohol consumption has been linked to different oral cancers because it also affects the way tissue cells divide.
If you love the flavor of eggnog, just consider moving toward the alcohol-free brands and save your spiked eggnog for those holiday parties!
This might sound counterintuitive, especially if you’re trying to avoid sugar. But some recent studies have shown that gum that is sugar-free and made with xylitol (instead of sugary bubble gum) can do a variety of things, including:
- Increasing the flow of saliva
- Washing away food that’s stuck between your teeth
- Neutralizing acids produced by bacteria in your mouth
On top of that, if you’re still yearning for more sweets, try chewing a piece of gum to help control your appetite.
Pick Healthier or Organic Candy
While candy canes are a holiday tradition, they contain high amounts of sugar and can crack your or your children’s teeth if you bite down wrong.
Instead, add some oranges and dark chocolate to your list of stocking stuffers this year. On top of that, organic sweets like cookies, brownies, and gummy bears are readily available at natural food stores, making the small amount of sugar less worrisome because these sweets also contain other nutritional value like high protein or vitamin C.
Safe Holiday Treats
If you would rather avoid holiday sweets that aren’t good for your teeth, there are plenty of holiday alternatives! Whether you’re looking for teeth-healthy stocking stuffers or something to bring into the office, our dental team has you covered. Read through our list to find some great alternatives to treats packed with sugar:
- Oranges. These are an old fashioned but classic stocking stuffer.
- Dark chocolate. When eaten in moderation, dark chocolate is heart-healthy.
- Sugar-free gum with xylitol.
- Hygiene products. Gift lotion, perfume, bubble bath, or even a fun toothbrush with toothpaste and dental floss. This is a great way to get your children excited and engaged with their dental hygiene!
- Organic cookies, brownies, and gummy bears.
- Lean protein like turkey. If you start your meal or snack with something filling and good for your teeth, like turkey, you will end up having less room for sugary sweets.
- Oatmeal or almond cookies. Unlike chocolate chip cookies, these alternatives have less sugar in them.
- Say yes to cheese. The pH balance in cheese works to neutralize the acid present in soda or your alcoholic beverages.
Schedule Your Family Dental Care Today
We hope this post helps you feel prepared to tackle the holiday season — and effectively avoid all of those sweets.
If it’s time to schedule your family dental care, make sure you choose the team at First Hill Dental Center in Seattle! Our team will always go the extra mile to ensure that you and your entire family have healthy teeth and the best dental experience. Contact us today to get started or to talk about our other dental services!