During the holiday season, it’s easy to let your dental health fall by the wayside. There are so many sweet treats out there this time of year, and brushing and flossing essentially take a backseat to spending time with friends and family. Fortunately, a dentist in Shepherdsville has a few tips to keep your teeth healthy this holiday season.
Clean Your Teeth After Eating
It’s not always possible to brush your teeth or even rinse with mouthwash after eating, especially when you’re at a holiday party. However, there are a couple things you can do to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. You could rinse your mouth out with water, or you could chew sugarless gum. The American Dental Association has suggested that chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating helps produce extra saliva that washes away excess food particles and bacteria. Keep a pack of sugar-free gum in your pocket or purse, and your teeth will thank you.
Choose Your Treats Wisely
If you can, stay away from chewy treats like caramel, gummy candies, and taffy, as they can make crowns and fillings come loose, and that’s the last thing you want when your dentist is closed for the holidays! They also bathe your teeth in a sticky residue that attracts bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.
The other food group you should avoid this holiday season is hard candy. This can be hard when candy canes and peppermint bark seem to be everywhere, but your teeth will thank you to keep away from these treats. Not only do they leave a sugary residue on your teeth, but there’s a possibility that you could chip or break a tooth biting down on them. It’s best to just avoid hard candies altogether, no matter what time of year it is.
Make an Appointment with Your Dentist
The end of the year is the perfect time to schedule a checkup and cleaning with your dentist. Most of the time, people only visit their dentist once a year, even though your dental insurance most likely covers two preventive appointments a year. At these visits, your dentist can check for early signs of issues like gum disease and cavities, and get them taken care of while they’re still easy to treat. Also, you can get your teeth professionally cleaned so that they shine a little brighter for holiday pictures.
The holiday season is rife with opportunities to ruin your teeth, but don’t let them! Follow these steps instead.
About the Author
Dr. Patrick Carroll earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Louisville. After a general practice residency at the University of Kentucky, Dr. Carroll entered private practice while also being a member of the faculty at the University of Louisville Dental School. Over the past six years, he has completed twice the state’s requirements for continuing education hours. For more holiday dental health tips, you can contact Dr. Carroll’s practice, Exception Dentistry, by clicking here.