Holidays are an exciting time of the year. They’re filled with fun family activities and delicious food. But no one wants to have a bad toothache or have a dental emergency while on their holiday break. Encinitas Family Dentistry wants you to have fun and minimize your risk of any dental issues this Christmas. Based on Dr. Skeens’ experience, here are some important dental tips for the holidays:
Christmas candies and desserts are a favorite with just about everyone. And chances are, you’ll most likely enjoy them during the holiday season. But many of today’s popular holiday treats are high in sugar and processed carbs. These foods are not only harmful to your waistline but can be very damaging to your tooth enamel and dental work.
Sugar can feed bacteria that are already in your mouth, increasing their chances of creating cavities, or dental caries. Plus, the acid that’s produced also weakens the enamel, putting your smile at risk.
A lot of Christmas desserts are also sticky and hard. Those types of textures make them harder to chew and difficult to bite into, which can lead to fractures in already-weak teeth. Or, just as bad, pull off existing restorations like fillings and dental crowns.
Instead of peanut brittle and toffee, snack on dark chocolate or cheese, which are gentler on teeth and healthier for your smile. Plus, non-sticky Christmas snacks are less likely to stay stuck to your teeth for hours at a time.
Drinks like hot chocolate and apple cider taste and smell like Christmas. But they can also be packed with sugar or natural acids. Drinking them allows the liquid to touch almost every tooth surface inside your mouth. This exposes your whole smile, so if you sip on it regularly, you could increase your risk of tooth decay.
Does that mean you can’t enjoy them at all? Not necessarily. While drinking sugary holiday beverages can reintroduce sugar and carbohydrates to the mouth, which produces acid, you can still enjoy them in moderation. Try to drink them with a meal, and always rinse your mouth out with water afterward. Water helps flush away some of the sugars and acids, lessening their impact on your teeth between toothbrushing sessions.
Every time we eat, we expose our teeth to about 30 minutes of acid exposure. Choosing a specific time to enjoy your Christmas cookies every day is better than constantly grazing on them throughout the afternoon.
Aside from rinsing your mouth with water after snacking, try to brush more often as well, especially if you’re off of work and spending more time with your family. Be sure to use fluoride toothpaste, as fluoride will help remineralize areas of weak enamel before physical cavities form. While you’re at it, make sure you’re flossing each day and go ahead and use a fluoride mouth rinse. If you’re struggling with dry mouth, be sure to avoid any rinses that contain alcohol.
Planning a ski or snowboarding trip? Don’t forget to take a mouthguard with you. Not only do these protective dental appliances lower your chances of a chipped tooth, but they also reduce your likelihood of getting a concussion during a bad fall or hit to the head. If you have one on hand, be sure to wear it during any type of winter sport where slips, falls, or head trauma might occur.
Our dental clinic in Encinitas still has limited availability now through the end of the year. Whether you’re due for a checkup or are considering teeth whitening in Encinitas, now is an excellent time to call. Contact our office today, especially if you have treatment on your to-do list (most insurance benefits reset on January first!)
Welcome to the Encinitas dental office of Gregory Skeens, JR., DDS. We are your home for caring dental treatment that supports superior oral health and helps you achieve the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. Our modern facility is equipped with cutting-edge technology and our team is here to make your visit enjoyable and relaxing.
We take a truly individualized approach to dentistry, which is why our practice is so popular. After every treatment, Encinitas dentist Dr. Skeens personally makes follow- up phone calls to patients to ensure that they are feeling well. Your comfort and well-being are of ultimate importance.