To prevent cavities, you could give up your favorite cookies, candies, cakes and desserts this holiday season. But who really wants to do that?
Holiday sweets can be pretty tough on your teeth, but that doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself to avoid tooth decay. Instead, keep cavity-causing bacteria in check during the holidays — and all year long — by practicing diligent oral care.
Brush Up on Your Technique to Prevent Cavities
Two times each day for two minutes: That’s how often the American Dental Association says you should brush to keep your mouth healthy. The ADA also recommends daily flossing, as well as a mouthwash rinse. Sticking to a routine can help stop tooth decay.
But if you plan to eat lots of sweet treats this holiday season, you may need to brush more often. Brushing after eating sugary snacks reduces the amount of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth, which lessens the effect that sweets have on your teeth.
Consider keeping a portable toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste on hand at all times so that you can brush after eating holiday sweets. Or to make brushing easier, carry a disposable toothbrush with built-in toothpaste.
Prevent Cavities by Drinking Plenty of Water
Let’s be real. You won’t always be able to whip out a toothbrush after eating a sugary treat. It just isn’t practical. Or you may forget to grab your brushing supplies when you leave the house.
The next best way to rid your mouth of cavity-causing bacteria is to rinse with water. Rinsing will wash away food particles that can cause tooth decay.
Drinking water more often than other beverages (especially sweetened beverages) can help prevent cavities. If you’re indulging in lots of sugary snacks this holiday season, skip the sugary sodas, sports drinks and juices.
Choose the Right Holiday Sweets to Prevent Cavities
During the holidays, you’ll be faced with a variety of treats to tempt your taste buds. But not all sweets have the same impact on your smile.
When you eat caramels, candy canes, pecan pie, fruit cake, popcorn balls and other chewy snacks, the sugars they contain stick to your teeth and make them more susceptible to decay. Enjoy them if you must, but aim for times when you can brush afterward.
Pound cake, butter cookies, pumpkin pie and fudge are better choices. These holiday treats dissolve more quickly in the mouth, which means that less cavity-causing bacteria sticks around to cause tooth decay.
At Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, we want your smile to remain healthy all year long. With convenient office locations throughout the Salt Lake City area, we provide a full range of oral and maxillofacial surgery services for your entire family. We are here to serve your needs, from wisdom tooth extraction to dental implants. But we don’t want to see you any sooner than necessary, so eat smart this holiday season and practice good dental hygiene to prevent cavities from forming.