During the holiday season, we tend to over-indulge in food and drink…including sugary treats. This can put our teeth at more risk than usual. However, there are ways in which you can help protect your teeth from damage that are important to keep top of mind.
Tips for protecting your teeth and gums over the holiday season:
1. Drink Water – During the holidays, our calorie intake tends to be higher, so one way to help balance that out is to drink water vs. consuming empty calories found in juice and soda pop. Water won’t erode your tooth enamel either! If you are going to have wine, try to drink only once a day with a meal, as it is also very acidic. The less contact with your teeth that these beverages have, the better.
2. Limit Sugar Consumption – With the holiday season comes holiday baking, chocolate, and candy canes. It takes a lot of willpower to completely resist these treats, but try your best to eat as little as possible and do so right after a meal. This is better than snacking throughout the day because you are limiting the amount of time in which your teeth are surrounded by sugar. Not to mention, if your New Year’s resolution is to get in better shape, you won’t have extra pounds to focus on if you watch what you eat now.
3. Eat Cheese – Yes…you now have an excuse for eating cheese! It is rich in calcium and balances the pH in your mouth, which protects your tooth enamel from the damaging effects of acidic food and drink.
4. Don’t Ignore the Veggies – The holidays shouldn’t be all about junk food. Vegetables high in Vitamin A like broccoli and carrots can help strengthen tooth enamel.
5. Enjoy Lots of Turkey – A great lean meat, turkey has phosphorous…which combined with calcium and Vitamin D helps keep teeth strong.
6. Brush After Each Meal – Be sure to brush after each meal and floss to get bits of food and sweets out from between your teeth. Just because the holiday season is here, it doesn’t mean you can also take a break from your oral care routine.
Remember, tooth enamel is a mineral so it does not replicate itself after it gets damaged. This is why it is so important to watch what you consume to protect this precious substance.