Its the holiday season and we want to wish all our patients a happy holiday season. No matter what you celebrate at this time of year, be it a traditional Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule or Festivus, we want you to be safe and enjoy your family at this important time of year.
However, if you eat too much sugar or drink too much alcohol, it may affect your teeth. Also, Christmas holidays dental care is particularly important: while dental emergencies may be inevitable, you need to keep up with oral hygiene throughout the holidays.
All we want for Christmas is to encourage healthy dental habits during the Christmas holidays. Don’t worry, we are not trying to put you on a dental Holiday diet.
1. Dip into veggies – At holiday events, skip the trays of Christmas cookies and brownies and instead fill your plate with veggies. Broccoli and carrots are great treats for your teeth because they’re loaded with Vitamin A which strengthens your enamel.
healthy holiday snacks for teeth#7 Chomp on cheese – Choose cheese to snack with if you’re drinking alcoholic drinks at parties. The pH balancing effects help neutralize the acid that’s in boozy beverages and the calcium is great for your tooth health as well.
2. Don’t use your teeth as a tool – The holidays come with packages to open, tape to apply to presents and loads of other things you may be tempted to break open or cut with your teeth. Don’t do it! Using your teeth as a tool can cause chips and breaks.
3. Fill up on fruit – Instead of piling on sugary desserts at your holiday meal, turn to fruit instead. If you’re having a big dinner or party, rather than prepping a number of cakes and pies, try sticking to one sweet dessert and then prep a big fruit plate to satisfy your sweet tooth.
4. Drink A Lot of Water – There are times when we feel hungry in which we just need to drink some water to rehydrate. Provide family and friends with plenty of water to help balance out all of the food and to wash away any sticky, sugary residue that might remain on teeth. Offer different natural ways to flavor their ice water, such as peppermint leaves or freshly cut lemon wedges for variety.
5. Keep Hands Busy – Christmas is traditionally a break for children and adults from school and work commitments. While this is a great time to relax, too much down time can mean overindulging in sweets. Engage family members and friends in games or toys received during the Christmas holiday. Offer sugar-free chewing gum while they play to keep both mouths and hands busy!
6. Practice Moderation – Moderation is an important concept that can be hard for kids to grasp. Set a good example by exhibiting balance, especially on your plate. Christmas treats are great, but don’t forget to “indulge” in foods that will help absorb all of that sugar. Fill your plate with healthy veggies and some protein, then sit down with family and friends to enjoy the Christmas season!
7. Stop Using Tobacco Products – Tobacco is one of the leading causes to dental risks. It can cause cavities, mouth diseases, discoloration, and even lead to cancer. People that smoke are much more likely to lose their teeth than people who don’t use tobacco products at all.
8. Drink Less Alcohol – Like tobacco, alcohol is another substance that decreases your health with excessive use. This can lead to gum disease, and can also cause discoloration. Also, people that drink excessively have a weaker immune system. This allows bacteria to do damage to your mouth and ruin your smile.
Alcohol consumption can also increase your risk for oral cancer and this risk is increased significantly when combined with tobacco. It is thought that because alcohol dehydrates the cell walls in the mouth carcinogens can permeate the tissue more easily. It can also increase your risk of gum disease which destroys gum tissue and bone and is the leading cause of tooth loss and gum infections.
Sugar-free chewing gum can also help as it makes the mouth produce more saliva which helps to cancel out the acid in your mouth from eating or drinking.
Brushing your teeth at the end of the day, just before you go to bed , is vital in ensuring that sugar and food debris is removed from the teeth. However, brushing teeth immediately after you have finished eating something acidic is not advised. Straight after you have eaten, the enamel is softened and if used at this point, the abrasive action of the brush and toothpaste will remove this layer of enamel. This erodes the teeth and makes them sensitive and vulnerable to decay. It is therefore advised that you wait 30- 60 mins after eating or drinking acidic foods before brushing your teeth. A simple mouth rinse with water immediately after can help to wash away the acid in the mouth.
All we want for Christmas is to encourage healthy dental habits during the Christmas holidays. Don’t worry, we are not trying to put you on a dental Holiday diet. We will just show you our five favorite healthy holiday food choices. Amazingly enough, these good food choices are both delicious and nutritious.
Follow these tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy during Christmas and enjoy the holidays with family and friends without any health or dental problems. But, if you need emergency dental care or dental check-up, contact Downtown Concord Dental at 515.612.7148 for best dental service in Downtown Concord. We are centrally located in Downtown Concord just next to Todo Santos Park nestled in Todos Santos Plaza on the Mt. Diablo St. side of the plaza at 2151 Salvio St. Suite A-1 in Concord, California.