As we are in the middle of the Holiday season there are lots of tempting treats to pick on. Most are okay in moderation but some are likely to create problems for your dental health. Issues that could be created include tooth decay and even fractured teeth. Below are a listing of some to be careful of:
–Popcorn. An old holiday favorite usually eaten at the movies but around holiday time regular old popcorn isn’t good enough We now add coated caramel on top. Under normal circumstances popcorn presents dental challenges for our teeth due to biting on popcorn kernels and popcorn husks getting lodged between teeth. Those pesky popcorn kernels have been known to cause broken teeth and fracture fillings. Add the caramel and it is a recipe for disaster as the caramel masks the kernels and sticks in and around your teeth. This can break a tooth, or create an environment with increased risk for development of tooth decay. So think twice and beware if indulging in this holiday favorite.
–Dried Fruit. Seems like this would be a healthy snack but the sugars in the dried fruit are concentrated and their dry texture makes them stick longer to teeth. This allows acid producing bacteria in your mouth to have a chance to work on your tooth enamel. Be smart, and floss after or chose fresh fruit instead.
–White Flour Crackers. We love these crackers with cheese spreads as a pre holiday meal snack. Did you know the bleached white flour turns almost immediately into sugar, which is food for the bacteria in your mouth to create an acid filled environment for tooth decay. Choose whole grain versions of these favorite crackers for better dental health as well as general health.
–Candy Canes. A traditional favorite that can also cause fractures to teeth if you choose to bite into them. Sucking on hard candy makes the sugar acids linger longer in your mouth. Break off a small piece, and drink water after.
–Christmas cookies and fudge.These are hard to pass up, especially at a party! Remember that very high sugar content, white flour and the stickiness are the contributors to tooth decay. Try eating some carrots or celery directly after you partake in these sweet treats.
–Peanut brittle. Some peanut brittle is harder or stickier than others. You can pull out a crown or filling or break a tooth. Try moistening a small piece in your mouth to soften it before chewing. You will certainly need to floss after this snack!
Dental Hygiene Tips for Holidays
–Drink Water. Plenty of it to swish and rinse your mouth.This will reduce the acid producing sugars and food debris from holiday snacking.
–Crunch on raw veggies. They will help clear the stickiness and stimulate salivary flow.
–Brush and Floss After Snacking. Brushing and flossing after snacking will neutralize the acid build up and not allow the tooth enamel to be broken down.
Enjoy the Holidays, just use your judgement to make good choices. You can still eat the special foods you love, just do it wisely. Remember, smiles are contagious, spread some holiday cheer with your beautiful smile!
Holiday season is a time of great joy bringing families and loved ones together from all points around the globe. It is also a time of over indulging on holiday sweets and treats. The consumption of these cookies and candies have the potential to create some real damage to your dental health. So what about stuffing your loved one’s stockings with gifts that can help them through this time. These can include electric tooth brushes, travel toothbrush kits, flossers, and sugar free gum.
Eating foods that are high in sugar, without proper oral care, can result in tooth decay and cavities. What better way to counteract the extra sugars and starches we often eat during the holidays than, to give your friends and family great gifts to care for their teeth.
If not removed by brushing or other means, sugars in the mouth can contribute to tooth decay. Naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth, form a colorless, sticky film called plaque. Cavity-causing organisms within plaque feed on sugar and turn it into acid, which attacks tooth enamel and leads to tooth decay.
Dental Health Stocking Stuffers
-Electric Toothbrush. This could be a great gift for loved ones . An electric toothbrush works far better to remove plaque than a manual brush. Most of us enjoy brushing more with a rotary brush, and brush longer! Electric brushes are great for anyone, but especially for youngsters and elderly. Dexterity, ability to see, and, boredom make manual brushing difficult to do properly.Electric toothbrushes do most of the work for you making it easier to maintain dental hygiene.
-Sugar Free Gum. Chewing gum is a great way to keep your teeth clean especially since it increases saliva in the mouth to counteract the food debris, plaque, and wash away the acids produced by bacteria. Try filling a jar with different flavors of gum and adding a pretty bow!
–Waterpik. Water flossing is faster, easier and almost as effective to traditional flossing. A great way to keep your teeth and gums healthy into the new year.
–Travel kits. Many of us travel for the holidays or work. A nice colorful zipper bag with new oral hygiene items, and perhaps a little note inside reminding them you’ll miss them while they are away.
–Flossers. There are many different types of flossers available, most of us don’t have more than one. Your gift would be great to keep in the office or car.
-Gift Certificate for Dental Services. This has been available for quite some time but generally reserved for teeth whitening or other cosmetic dentistry services. Why not use it for preventive treatment as well. Have a special someone who has not been to the dentist in awhile? This could be the perfect gift to get them back on track of their dental health.
Happy Holidays to Everyone!
While Dental gifts may not be as popular as video games or ipods they do show you care! It is important to get on track to good dental health, and overall health. Your loved ones know how special you are, and always want the best for you. What shows that better, than thoughtful gifts that keep them healthy? Enjoy the holidays, and spread joy with your smile!