As if sugar isn’t plentiful enough anyway, the Holidays are here to break the sugar floodgates and pour excessive amounts of sweets into your life. While most will talk about the sugar flood’s impact on waistlines, smiles will also be taking a hit.
We are always eating during this time of year, because there is no school, or we have work off, or because nothing pairs with lounging better than deliciousness. Consider these holiday treats and their effects.
Candy canes, just like any other thing made of 100 percent sugar, aren’t great for our teeth. But sucking on a candy cane takes time, meaning that you’ll have a steady stream of sugar into your mouth. And if you don’t suck on candy canes, you’re crunching them, meaning sugar is lodged in your teeth, which is just as bad. That combined with holiday activities probably means you aren’t going to get around to brushing and flossing soon after, and the bacteria build-up is well on its way by the time you give a thought to oral health.
Toffee is great at leaving residue among the teeth, which bacteria love. Furthermore, toffee can pull out fillings, and even cause fractures if it is especially hard (there’s always that aunt who brings toffee that is more like concrete).
This amazing holiday beverage is loaded with sugar. Usually beverages like carbonated sodas, fruit juice and sports drinks get the blame for cavities, but during this time of year, eggnog joins the group.
Before we take all the joy out of Holiday fare, remember that you can take some precautions to avoid any dental consequences of festive sweets.
Try to stick to brushing and flossing twice a day. Of course that isn’t always going to be realistic during the holiday season. If you can’t brush or floss, make sure you are rinsing your mouth out with water or mouthwash. Sugar-free gum can be another way to wash away and neutralize acids in the mouth.
Eating other foods can also help reduce the destructive acidity in your mouth. Cheese, for example, has a lower pH level, meaning your mouth is less acidic after eating it.
Additionally, certain dental procedures can serve as protection for the holiday sugar assault. Bleaching or teeth whitening can be beneficial for both teeth and gums, can help stop cavities, and will help you look great for the holidays as a bonus.