The holidays are a time of celebration and often overindulgence. Many of the foods that are traditionally part of the holidays can cause problems for your teeth. The good news is that proper oral care can help you maintain healthy teeth without sacrificing your favorite treats.
Greenwood Dental can guide you through four easy ways you can support healthy teeth during the holidays.
Drinking Water After Wine
Wine is highly acidic and will wear away your tooth enamel. You may have experienced tooth staining after drinking red wine and assume white wine is better for maintaining healthy teeth. Red wine has pigments that will stain your teeth, but white wine has a higher acidity. You may be tempted to brush your teeth immediately after having a glass of wine, but you should actually have some water.
When you brush immediately after drinking wine, you spread the acid in your mouth around and push it into your teeth. This can cause more acid erosion. Instead, swish some water around in your mouth, or drink a glass of water. Water has a neutral ph, which will neutralize the acid from the wine. It will also stimulate saliva production, which maintains a healthy ph and fights harmful bacteria.
You can brush about 30 minutes after you have a glass of wine. If you plan to continue drinking, it’s much easier to alternate between wine and water. This also applies to other acidic drinks like tea and coffee. This tip when combined with teeth whitening can keep your smile bright.
Avoid Hard of Chewy Foods
Holiday foods like peanut brittle, hard candies, or caramels are hard on your teeth. Some people enjoy crushing ice with their teeth as well. The amount of pressure these hard substances put on your teeth can cause them to break or weaken over time. No one wants to chip a tooth on grandma’s candy. It’s best to avoid these. Chewy foods like caramels can also cause problems, particularly if you have fillings. Chewy treats pull at your teeth while you eat.
Limit Sweets and Brush Frequently
Maintaining healthy teeth during the holidays doesn’t have to mean avoiding sweets. However, it is wise to limit them. Parties and encourage frequent snacking, which continually exposes your teeth to sugar if you are eating sweets. Enjoy sweets in moderation is the best way to maintain healthy teeth.
Instead of frequent snacking on candies, try to limit sweets to after dinner or a few treats a day. Choose healthier foods for snacks. Be sure to brush your teeth after eating sweets. The prolonged exposure caused by the sugar staying on your teeth is a bigger concern than the exposure from simply eating the treat. Frequent brushing removes the sugar so you can maintain your smile.
Don’t Misuse Your Teeth
This is the fastest way to see a dentist cringe internally. Sometimes we are in a hurry. We want to snack on some nuts or open our latest gift. When the proper tools aren’t within easy reach, it can be tempting to use what you have handy, which is often your teeth. While this is convenient, your teeth weren’t designed for this. You can break a tooth if you bite down on something very hard. Misusing your teeth can also cause gum damage leading you to need to see a periodontist. Keep a nutcracker handy for nuts and a knife or multi-tool for opening things.
Healthy Teeth With Greenwood Dental Care
The last tip for healthy teeth during the holidays is not to put off dental care. Regular cleanings and following up with needed procedures is one of the best ways to take care of your teeth. We also offer cosmetic dentistry services so that you can look your best this holiday season. Greenwood Dental Care in Waukegan, IL, is here for all of your dental care needs. Contact us today at 855.528.3961 to learn what we can do for your smile.