Everyone has a gift they’d like to receive during the holiday season. For most dentists, that gift is “patients who are still cavity-free after a month filled with sugary treats”! Luckily, this is a holiday wish you can easily grant with excellent oral hygiene habits and good decision-making when it comes to the foods you enjoy during this time of year. Here are 4 tips that will let you give your dentist – and yourself – the gift of a healthy smile.
1. Stay Away from Sticky Foods
Chewy, sticky treats like taffy and cranberries may make for tasty snack, but they also tend to leave a lot of sugar particles to linger on your teeth. This gives the bacteria in your mouth more time to feed on the sugar that causes them to secrete acid, meaning you’re more likely to develop a cavity. And if you have a crown, braces, or other types of dental work, chewing on something sticky could pull it loose and cause serious damage. If you do decide to indulge in some of these treats, try to enjoy them in moderation.
2. Choose Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is probably one of the safest candies you can enjoy during the holiday. It melts in your mouth and can easily be washed off the teeth by water or saliva, meaning you won’t have to worry about sugar staying in your mouth too long. As a side benefit, dark chocolate in particular is filled with flavonoids that can help protect your heart.
3. Time Your Treats Well
Eating candy and other sugary snacks throughout the day can make the damage they inflict on your teeth even worse; that’s why it’s important to be aware of both when and how frequently you let yourself indulge in sugar. Interestingly, the best time to enjoy a sugary treat is during a meal, which is when there’s more cleansing saliva in your mouth.
4. Find Some Sugar-Free Sweets
The holidays can be a great time to enjoy some sweets, but if you want to minimize the damage to your teeth, look for treats of the sugar-free variety. Many types of gum and candy are sweetened with xylitol, a compound that’s as sweet as sugar but actually protects the mouth by reducing the level of cavity-causing bacteria. Xylitol can even be used as a substitute for sugar for certain baking recipes. That way, you can protect your pearly whites while keeping your sweet tooth satisfied.
By following the above tips and continuing to brush and floss every day, you can make sure that your smile survives the holiday season. Don’t let the celebration end with an emergency call to a dentist near you.
About the Practice
At Mod Squad Dental, we’re bringing families in San Diego and the surrounding communities quality dental treatments that leave them with healthy, happy smiles. We’ll see you right away if there’s an emergency, but of course we also offer excellent preventive care to help you avoid having a dental emergency in the first place! To schedule an appointment, visit our website or call (858) 547-0070.