Staying Cavity Free At Holiday Time

The holidays are approaching and so are everyone’s favorite traditions, many of which involve festive parties and feasts.

If you consume too many sugar-filled drinks or other non-nutritious snacks, you could be at risk for tooth decay. While everything is fine in moderation, here are some tips from the American Dental Association on how to maintain your dental health during the holidays.

  • Stay hydrated. ‘Tis the season for eggnog, Brandy Alexanders and glog! Too much alcohol can dry out your mouth, which can make it more susceptible to the bacteria that cause cavities. If you drink alcoholic beverages, try to drink plenty of water too.

  • Candy canes are fun and can be great breath mints, but be careful. Any hard candy can put your teeth at risk because in addition to being full of sugar, it can also break or chip your teeth. Try not to bite down hard when consuming.

  • Watch the starchy foods. For snack foods such as chips and dips, take extra care when you floss that day to remove all the food particles that can lead to plaque build-up.

  • Be picky if it’s sticky. Sticky foods can damage your teeth since they tend to stay on the teeth longer than other types of food. Because saliva production increases when you eat, try to eat sweets soon after the big meal. This will help rinse away food particles and cancel out acids produced by bacteria. Be sure to drink plenty of water with your meal to help wash away any remaining food particles.

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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Tips for a Healthy Diet

  • Foods high in sugar are a particularly common cause of tooth decay. Making these foods a treat rather than a staple will help protect your teeth.

  • To maintain a balanced diet, eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups.

  • When choosing a snack, go for nutritious foods such as cheese, raw vegetables, plain yogurt or a piece of fruit.