Holidays like Christmas are full of food and drink. Those often have a ton of sugar, which is why Christmas can be tough on your teeth. Call us today at our St. John, IN dental office (219-322-9920) or our Valparaiso, IN dental office (219-462-1970) to schedule an appointment for a dental cleaning and dental exam. Our teams are highly trained to get your teeth professionally clean and to find any problems while they are still small.
The Two Big Risks: Tooth Decay And Gum Disease
Sugar is the
problem around the holidays because it increases your risk of tooth decay and
Both problems are caused by harmful bacteria in your mouth. They can feed on just about anything you eat or drink, but they love sugar. It helps bacteria thrive and spread. They secrete an acid that erodes enamel and damages gum tissue, leading to tooth decay and gum disease.
That’s why it’s so important to call Creating Smiles today and schedule your next appointment. A dental cleaning can remove plaque, tartar, and the bacteria that live there. A dental exam with our highly experienced dentists can find problems before they have a chance to get out of control. Combined together, these can help your smile get through Christmas intact.
Tips For Protecting Your Teeth Around Christmas
However, there are some things you can do this Christmas to help reduce your odds of a problem.
1. Rinse with water after eating instead of brushing.
Yes, you still need to brush. It’s just that you shouldn’t brush immediately after eating. That’s because some foods are highly acidic. Your teeth get covered in acid when you drink fruit juice, for example. Brushing will just push acid deeper into your enamel, causing more damage.
Instead, rinse your mouth with water and wait a good 45 minutes before brushing. In fact, drinking water can help by giving you more saliva. Food particles can get washed away by your saliva, helping deprive bacteria of their food.
2. Don’t use your teeth to open things.
Packages can be tough to open, especially if they’re made from hard plastic. It’s tempting to use your teeth when you can’t open it with your hands, but don’t. Anything that tough can cut your gums if you do it wrong. You could also slip and slam your teeth together hard enough to damage the enamel.
Keep a pair of scissors on hand to open any Christmas gift packages. Along the same lines, don’t use your teeth to hold onto things. If you cannot carry everything in two hands, make two trips. One fall later and you could have a dental emergency.
3. Ignore the candy canes.
It’s Christmas, so you should enjoy some sweet treats. However, go for something other than the traditional candy canes. These are almost entirely made from sugar. It turns into liquid sugar in your mouth, which coats your teeth and gums and feeds harmful bacteria.
Plus, the point can get surprisingly sharp while you eat a candy cane. It can actually hurt your gums. There should be plenty of sweets around the holidays that you can have instead.
4. Pass on treats with caramel or toffee.
Along the same lines, desserts and snacks made with caramel or toffee should be skipped. That’s because both are very sticky. Instead of leaving behind some trace particles, caramel and toffee get stuck to your teeth and gums. That can leave sugar in your mouth for all those bacteria to enjoy.
5. Stick to your normal brushing and flossing routine.
Dental cleanings get your teeth professionally clean, but they are no substitute for regular brushing and flossing. Christmas can bring a lot of changes and chaos. It will be easy to forget your usual routines, especially if you travel this holiday season.
Do what you can to stick to your typical dental health routine. For example, you could place your toothbrush on your pillow. That’s a clear reminder that you still have to brush and floss before bed.
Call us TODAY at our St. John, IN dental office (219-322-9920) or our Valparaiso, IN dental office (219-462-1970) to schedule your next appointment. Dental cleanings can help prevent problems, while dental exams can make sure you get the treatment you need to stay healthy.