How to Have a Cavity-Free Holiday Season

The holidays are upon us, and you know what that means: parties, candy, drinking, and lots and lots of eating!  This time of year often leads to a deviation from our normal eating and drinking habits as well as the way we take care of ourselves.

Do not let the holidays put you at risk for damage to your teeth!  Follow these simple steps to stay cavity-free this holiday season.

  1. Try to have desserts with meals only.

We know this is a tough one.  There are extra helpings of pie in the fridge.  There are bowls full of candy everywhere.  Your neighbors bring you cookies and treats.

All this sticky, sugary goodness is very tempting, but it is also very bad for your teeth.  One way you can still enjoy these treats and not hurt your teeth is by partaking of your sweets with a meal instead of as a mid-day snack.  Saliva is our best defense against cavities.  Between meals, our saliva production goes down, which helps those sweet treats pack an extra punch on your enamel.  Having them with a meal means you’re protected by the saliva that comes naturally with eating a meal.

Keep your sweets to mealtime!

  1. Avoid heavy alcohol consumption.

Another tough one, especially if your family causes you stress.  Alcohol can harm the teeth in three ways.  1) It dries out your mouth.  2)  It contains sugars.  3)  It is acidic.

A dry mouth filled with sugary acid is a recipe for disaster.  The same tip applies to alcohol as to sweets: enjoy it with a meal.  Your saliva will counteract the dryness, the sugar, and the acid.

Another helpful hint: after drinking alcohol, rinse your mouth with water.  This also helps moisturize your mouth and counteract the effects of sugar and acid in the alcoholic drink.

  1. Force yourself to be diligent with your oral hygiene.

Having company in town or traveling to see family can lead to a disruption in your bedtime routine.  Make sure to prioritize keeping your teeth clean no matter where you are and what time you get to bed.

The changes that often occur in our diets during the holidays make consistent brushing and flossing even more important than they already are!

Nightly brushing and flossing is essential to good dental health.  At night, while we are sleeping, our bodies do not produce much saliva.  (This is a protective mechanism to keep us from choking on our own spit!)  Therefore, when you put your head on the pillow, your teeth are entering a higher risk situation.  Give them a fighting chance by removing all the plaque, food and bacteria from all the exposed tooth surfaces by brushing and flossing thoroughly.

  1. Head off a dental emergency!

Do not let a toothache ruin your holidays!  If you have not had a dental check-up in a while and something is bothering you, come see us as soon as possible.  Dr. Chowning will help you address any teeth problems that are in danger of turning into an emergency.  Dental emergencies not only cause pain; they also lead to unexpected expenses at an already expensive time of year.

Do not put off seeing the dentist when something starts to bother you.  We know this time of year is busy, but we also recognize that, while there is NEVER a good time for a toothache, the holidays are the worst time.  Let us help you prevent an emergency with your teeth.

If you know or suspect that you have a cavity, let’s fix it before Christmas rolls around.  Call today to be scheduled with Dr. Chowning.  Once the cavities are removed, you will officially be cavity-free for the holidays!

Need More Tips on How to Enjoy Healthy Holidays?

Call today to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Chowning.  He can help you learn your specific risk areas and take steps to reduce those risks and be cavity-free this Christmas!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,