The holidays can wreak havoc on your dental health. You’re traveling and distracted, combined with being surrounded by all sorts of seasonal foods and drinks. How do you keep your teeth healthy? Dr. Daryle J. Mahnke, your dentist in Bay City, MI, has some tips to help you make it through.
Bring the Essentials
Don’t leave your electric toothbrush at home. Bring all the tools that you would use at home with you on the road to visit family. Travel isn’t an excuse to skimp on your oral health care routine. Pack a bag with the essential oral health devices for you and the rest of your family. Having your tools instead of a random toothbrush from your mom can help make sure you get every bit of that holiday food out of your teeth.
Watch What You Eat
The holidays bring a lot of sweet treats. A lot of these are sticky or hard, meaning they’re prime for damaging the teeth. Hard candies like candy canes can crack or chip a tooth if they’re bitten. The sugar from them also lingers in the mouth, as they take longer to eat. Bacteria feed off of this sugar, releasing acidic byproducts that eat through the enamel in your teeth. This is what causes tooth decay
Sticky treats like caramels have bits that linger. They get stuck in the crevices in your molars and the tight spaces between the teeth. These pieces can be hard to get out with just brushing and flossing, leaving them to sit and encourage accelerated decay of your teeth.
And What You Drink
Soda, coffee, and wine all seem to be prevalent at holiday parties and get-togethers. All of these things can stain your teeth. If you’re drinking mainly soda or sugary coffee, that’s also a lot more sugar for mouth bacteria to feed off of
Alcohol can add another problem as well. It tends to dehydrate the mouth. Saliva is essential to oral health, washing away bits of leftover food and keeping the mouth refreshed. It also helps to prevent tooth decay.
If you’re choosing any of these beverages this holiday, make sure you’re drinking a lot of water in between. This can help wash some of the sugar away, so it doesn’t linger. Plus, water keeps you hydrated and keeps up saliva production.
Stay Away From Ice
You may think that it’s fine since it’s water. And it can be okay. However, biting ice can bring the same consequences as biting into hard candy. A chipped or broken tooth is the last thing you want to take home for the holidays.
Schedule Your Checkup Now
Start the new year off right with a visit to your local dentist’s office in Bay City, Michigan. Schedule an appointment in January to make sure that the holidays didn’t do a number on your smile. Dr. Mahnke can do a thorough dental cleaning and exam to check for any signs of tooth decay from all those sweet treats. Call us today or schedule an appointment online!