Cavity Free

4 Tips For Staying Cavity-Free During The Holidays

A lot of people are concerned about the potential for an expanding waistline during the holiday season. Still, another aspect of our health that can be affected by holiday eating habits are our teeth. From the Christmas cookies to the eggnog and everything in between, the holiday season can be rough on our teeth and gums. To help counter this, use these four tips for protecting your mouth and staying cavity-free throughout the holiday season.

Timing is Everything

Sugars and bacteria can do the most damage to our teeth when they are allowed to sit on the surface of our teeth undisturbed for hours on end. Meals and drinking water both help to remove sugars and food particles from our teeth surfaces, which is why sugary sweets are best eaten with a meal or while drinking water. Eating sticky, sugary foods on their own means they can stick on the surface of our teeth and breakdown our enamel uninterrupted. Try to eat sweets with a meal, drink plenty of water or brush your teeth after snacking in order to protect your teeth.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol can damage your gums, but over-drinking can dehydrate our bodies, and dehydration can limit the amount of saliva we produce. Saliva has anti-bacterial and acid-neutralization properties, so if your mouth can’t produce the normal amount of saliva, bacteria will have an easier time breaking down your teeth. If you’re going to drink alcohol this holiday season, also be sure to drink plenty of water to help your body stay hydrated.

Beware Hard Candies

Hard candies are usually packed with sugars, so aside from adding plenty of cavity-causing sugars to enter your mouth, they can also lead to chipped teeth or cracked crowns if we try to bite into them. Consider swapping out the hard holiday candies for a softer, less sugar-packed alternative. If you’re going to indulge in hard candies, have some water handy and resist the urge to bite into them.

Daily Dental Habits

Now, we’re not going to sit here and say you need to avoid all the holiday candies, cookies, and chocolates, but if you are going to indulge, make it an extra point to practice good dental habits. You should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once, as this will help keep the surfaces and space between your teeth clean. Indulging in holiday foods helps make the season more enjoyable, but you also need to commit to a dental care plan throughout the season.

If you’re due for a semi-annual checkup, try to schedule the appointment if you have some vacation days before the end of the year! Contact our team to get on the calendar.

Preventing Cavities

4 Diet Tips To Prevent Against Cavities

Cavities develop when we allow plaque and bacteria to damage the surface of our teeth, and one way in which we can either set up or prevent against providing a good environment for tooth decay to occur is through our diet. What we eat and drink plays a big role in whether or not cavity-causing bacteria are allowed to prosper in our mouth.

Practicing good dental hygiene by brushing and flossing daily can go a long way in preventing against cavities, but so too can a healthy diet. Today, we share four tips for ensuring that the diet we eat isn’t putting us at risk for cavity development.

Make Water Your Drink of Choice

Water is a great choice because not only does it avoid jeopardizing your teeth like some other drinks, it actually works to strengthen them. Water contains fluoride, which helps to prevent tooth decay and cavities. Other drinks, like sodas, juices, coffee or alcohol can all cause problems for your teeth. Sugas from juices and sugars can create a perfect environment for cavity-causing bacteria, coffee can stain teeth, and alcohol can negatively affect your gum health. Stick with water as your main liquid of choice, and you’ll reduce your cavity risk.

Dairy, Veggies and Fruit are Great Options

You have to be a little careful about the acidity and natural sugars in some fruits, but these food groups all provide essential vitamins and minerals that can strengthen your teeth and help prevent cavities. Calcium and potassium help to improve bone mineral density, which is necessary for strong and healthy teeth. Make these foods groups the main focus of your meal.

Avoid Sticky Foods

Foods like gummies, raisins and other dried fruits are not only packed with artificial or natural sugars, but they also have a tendency to stick to your teeth. The longer they remain on the tooth surface, the more damage they can do in terms of causing cavities. If you’re going to eat these foods, eat them in combination with other foods, as that will help to naturally wipe them off your teeth surfaces. Also consider brushing your teeth after eating these foods.

Avoid Constant Snacking

Aside from potentially affecting your waistline, regular snacking means that we’re constantly feeding the cavity-causing germs in our mouth. Kids that have the most cavities are usually the ones snacking throughout the day, and while it’s important to feed your kid when they are hungry, more infrequent, larger meals may do more for their oral health than a lot of smaller meals throughout the day.