The holidays are officially here and that means, lots of sugar, irregular schedules, and an influx of family and friends at your house. While we all love the fun-filled gatherings, food, and games, the one thing that we want to stay away from is decay. Unfortunately, this time of year puts everyone at risk because of the overabundance of sugary and starchy foods such as cookies, candy, potatoes, and warm cocoa. To keep your smile looking and feeling its best, let a dentist in San Marcos share 4 healthy tips to get you through the holidays.
Water is Your Best Friend
Your body and mouth can both benefit from drinking more water this time of year. As you consume that delicious slice of cake, water can help to wash down any sugar that is trying to stick to your teeth. It also helps to increase the saliva flow that your mouth needs to prevent harmful bacteria from building on your teeth, gums, and tongue, and resulting in tooth decay and cavity development. So, instead of reaching for a can of soda or glass of wine, opt for water.
Your Dentist is Your Ally
In the fight against decay and gum disease, your dentist can be your best ally. If you think this time of year isn’t ideal for squeezing in a dental checkup and cleaning, guess again. While you might find yourself scouring your calendar for availability, there’s no better time than now to get in to see your dentist. Not only can he make sure no problems are developing (or worsening), but he can also set your smile up for a show-stopping season full of laughs and plenty of pictures. By removing plaque and tartar from your gum line and offering a polish, your smile will the envy of others.
Stick to Your Morning and Nightly Routine
With family and friends in town, you might be tempted to skip your nighttime routine of brushing and flossing, but if you want to make sure that cavities don’t have a chance, you’ll want to keep brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes as well as flossing at least once a day. It is also important that you rinse with an ADA-approved mouthwash and use a tongue scraper to remove bacteria and food particles from the surface and sides of your tongue. This will give you a clean and refreshed feeling every morning and night.
Don’t Drink in Excess
Apart from the dangers that too much alcohol consumption can pose on your body and on the road, it can also lead to serious problems for your oral cavity. Both white and red wines are highly acidic, which means, drinking too much of it can break down your tooth enamel and cause staining, wear and tear, and decay. Depending on your flavor of choice, the wine you like might be high in sugar as well, which will only increase your risk for cavities. If you want to enjoy a glass, that is fine, but be sure to keep a bottle or glass of water nearby to flush out any sugar residue and prevent your mouth from becoming dry.
Don’t let decay and gum disease invade this special time with family and friends. If you follow these four simple tips, your smile will be good to go for the new year.
About the Author
Dr. J. Robert Donnelly earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University before going on to serve his country as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. He then attended The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio where he achieved his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Dr. Donnelly and the team at San Marcos Gentle Dental want you to be prepared this holiday season. By offering useful tips and tricks to keep your smile shining bright, he also encourages his patients to schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings this time of year. To find out how you can keep your smile safe from decay and disease during the holidays, contact us at (512) 396-5225.