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Reduce Tooth Decay Risk During the Holidays

Holidays are wonderful and we all love them because it equates to lots of celebrations and fun with our friends and family. One of the things that many people look forward to in every holiday party is comfort food.

Consuming a lot of sweets this holiday may satisfy your sweet tooth, but eating too much can be harmful to your gums and teeth. “If you don’t clean your teeth properly, especially after consuming sweet treats, you may end up having periodontal disease, tooth decay, and possible tooth loss,” says Dr. Sarah Kong, your local Dallas dentist.

It’s not necessarily the amount of sugar you consume that can cause damage, it’s the length of time the food is in your mouth that plays a big role in tooth decay. Hard candy, breath mints, and cough drops stay in the mouth for an extended period of time. The teeth are subjected to acid attacks, causing the tooth enamel to break down.

The good news is, you don’t need to sacrifice great taste or eating dessert if you serve healthy holiday snacks.

The American Dental Association offers some tips for a cavity-free holiday:

  1. Eat sugary foods with meals. During meals, saliva production increases, helping rinse food particles from the mouth and neutralize acid.
  2. Drink more water than the usual. Check the label of bottled water for fluoride content.
  3. Limit eating between meals. If you really want to eat a snack, be sure to go for nutritious foods, and try to chew a sugarless gum right after. Sugarless gum promotes saliva production, which helps wash out decay-producing acid and food.
  4. Brush your teeth regularly, especially after eating sugary foods.
  5. Be picky if it’s sticky. Sticky, sugary foods such as gummy bears and fruit cakes are less likely washed out from between the teeth by saliva.
  6. Drink in moderation. Keep in mind that too much alcohol can dry your mouth. It’s always wise to drink water alongside alcoholic drinks.
  7. Try to avoid starchy foods. They get trapped in your teeth. Should you still indulge in cakes and chips, be sure to thoroughly floss to remove all the food particles that can lead to bacteria and eventually, plaque build-up.

So what can you eat? There are lots! Consume whole grains, lean proteins like skinless poultry, lean beef, and fish. If you do snack, go for healthy alternatives like yogurt, cheese, and fruits. Still have questions? Feel free to give your Dallas dentist a call.

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