Don't Let The Holidays Hurt Your Oral Health

You may already realize how difficult it can be to maintain a proper diet during the holiday season. From Halloween through Valentine's Day (and all those football games), almost all celebrations involve eating and drinking with loved ones and friends. You don't have to let that affect you in a negative manner, whether it's your general health or your oral health, though. Read on for some tips to keep your oral health on track during the holidays.

Avoid Soft Drinks – Even diet soft drinks contain acids and dyes that can harm your teeth. When you are traveling or visiting, you might be more likely to drink sugary soft drinks even if you tend to avoid them the rest of the time.

Watch Your Alcohol Consumption Too – Alcohol and the mixers that go along with it can also harm your teeth, gums, and more. You don't have to be a heavy drinker to suffer from the negative effects like staining and more. Alcohol tends to dehydrate your body and that means a dry mouth. Since saliva is your body's natural mouthwash, less of it can create the perfect atmosphere for bacteria.

Cracks, Chips, and Breaks – Hard candy, like a candy cane, for instance, appear often during the holidays, but hard treats like that can create serious cracks in your teeth. Even a hairline crack can allow in bacteria. Broken and chipped teeth can also result when eating hard candy. Hard candy usually contains sugar as well, and it's common for that candy to stay in your mouth for a long time. That means a greater chance of problems with decay.

Foods to Avoid:

  • Dried Fruit – Anything that can stick to your teeth and is sweet like dried fruit should be avoided.
  • Chocolate with nuts inside – It's easy to bite into some chocolate and wreak havoc with your teeth when you unexpectedly encounter a nut.
  • Eggnog – This treat, even if you don't add alcohol, is full of sugar and the milky texture tends to stick to teeth in an unhealthy manner.
  • Starches – Bread is a go-to during cooler weather and there is something very comforting about starchy, filling foods. However, starches are just as bad for your teeth as sugar so avoid that second helping of stuffing or rolls.

Do Some Damage Control – Part of what makes holiday gatherings special is eating and drinking with those we love. You can still enjoy that if you take care to avoid the above foods and drinks or at least consume them in moderation. Brush after you eat and floss regularly to remove harmful bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth. Drink plenty of water to help keep your mouth moist and rinsed. Speak to your dentist for more tips on surviving the holidays with your oral health intact.

For more information on dental services, contact a professional near you.