Taking Care of Your Teeth During the Holidays
- Posted on: Dec 17 2013
The holiday season can wreak havoc on your teeth. Whether you’re sipping hot chocolate or toasting marshmallows by the fireplace, indulging in wintertime treats can lead to cavities and tooth decay down the line. Read on for a few tips on how to take care of your – and your family’s – teeth during the holidays.
- Replace Unhealthy Treats. There’s definitely no shortage of sugary treats this time of year. From candy canes to dreidels full of chocolate coins, sweets are a holiday staple. Unfortunately, eating sugar encourages the development of tooth decay, including cavities. Sugar consumption is also tied to the development of plaque and periodontal disease. It’s smart to completely avoid eating extra sugar whenever possible, or to at least limit your candy intake. For example, have one single-serving pre-wrapped chocolate, rather than half of the entire chocolate bar. If your kids are hooked on candy, try replacing treats with traditional, healthier options.Give your kids clementines, pomegranates, apples and popcorn, rather than candy canes and chocolate. When baking cookies, use half the amount of sugar that a recipe calls for and add in a dash of cinnamon for extra flavor instead. If someone gifts your family candy for the holidays, use it to decorate your gingerbread house instead of eating it.
- Don’t Forget the Drinks. Tooth-harming sugar is often overlooked when it comes in liquid form. But apple cider, egg nog and hot chocolate are popular winter drinks that all pack plenty of sugar and can lead to dental issues. For a healthier option, choose a seasonal-flavored tea, such as candy cane peppermint, gingerbread spice, orange and cinnamon.
- Brush Your Teeth Right Away. It’s not just important to brush twice a day and floss at least once daily – it also matters when you clean your teeth. Brushing, flossing and/or rinsing with a mouthwash immediately after eating something sweet helps to prevent dental decay and other issues. Also, make sure that you show your children how to brush and floss properly, and encourage them to brush their teeth as soon as possible after eating any sweets. To further protect your teeth, make sure that you and your family receive a teeth cleaning twice a year.
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