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Oral Health Buzz

How to Prevent Cavities while Enjoying Holiday Sweets

Rachael Moshman

Are you wondering how to prevent cavities while still indulging in the yumminess of the holiday season? Fortunately, it is possible to eat sugary treats without ruining your smile — with a few simple tips.

Stick to Your Favorites

It's hard to get away from sweet treats during the month of December. There's the candy dish at the office, Aunt Mary's triple-chocolate brownies, sugary hot beverages, tray upon tray of homemade cookies and even people handing out candy canes while you're out running errands. Be picky when offered a goodie. Skip the items that are available throughout the year, such as store-bought cookies and M&Ms, and go for more special yummies guilt-free. Your teeth — and waistline — will thank you.

Brush Often

Clean your teeth after every sugary treat; perhaps consider a new toothbrush. This will help keep your mouth cleaner by reducing plaque buildup. Make it a household rule that candy, cookies, hot cocoa and other delicious foods are allowed only on condition that teeth be brushed immediately after the treats are eaten. Then make sure that everyone sticks to the rule, including Mom and Dad! This one step will go a long way toward teaching the whole family how to prevent cavities while keeping the season sweet.

Carry Oral Hygiene Tools with You

Lots of sweets are eaten outside of the home while shopping, visiting or attending parties. Pick up extra toothbrushes and small tubes of toothpaste for everyone in the family to carry with them. The triple-action bristles and diamond-shaped heads of Colgate® Wisp are better at getting into hard-to-reach places, and they are an easy-to-use disposable version that includes toothpaste. Trial sizes of mouthwash and dental floss complete the portable dental care package.

Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Chewing gum produces saliva. This helps to wash away bacteria. It's also easier to resist treats when you have a piece of gum in your mouth. There is a wide range of sugar-free flavors on the market, including mint chocolate chip, cinnamon roll and apple pie à la mode.

Make Less Sticky Choices

Problems occur when the sugary coating remains on the teeth. Plaque loves the acids in sugar and other carbs. Choosing goodies that don't leave a sticky coating, especially when you are not able to brush right away, reduces the risk of tooth damage. Enjoy a fresh fruit salad instead of a muffin for breakfast or pound cake instead of chocolate fudge for desert.

Learn more about how to prevent cavities in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

Source: morgueFile

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