Seasonal foods are some of the most delicious, but many can be damaging to one’s smile if consumed in large quantities. This is why maintaining good holiday oral health is important. When preparing to visit family and friends for Thanksgiving this year, it can be helpful to remember a few simple tips to keep teeth and gums looking and feeling great as the new year approaches.
The Dangers of Sugars and Starches
While Thanksgiving tables will be filled with all types of protein, fruits, and vegetables, they will also display copious amounts of starches and sugars. From mashed potatoes and stuffing to pies, cobblers, and cookies, they may be some of the most delectable, but they’re also harmful to teeth and gums.
The reason a dentist in Lockport will likely recommend minimizing the consumption of these particular foods is that they can lead to cavity formation and gum disease. When sugar attaches to the tooth enamel, bacteria feed on it, producing harmful acids that begin to break down and attack soft oral tissues and teeth. Without proper treatment, small cavities can form, and gums can begin to swell.
While this may not happen overnight, regular consumption of these foods will fast-track the process, leading patients to see an emergency dentist for help.
Ways to Maintain a Healthy Smile
While no one is saying that enjoying these foods is out of the question, it is necessary that moderation be an important component of the holidays. When eating a piece of cobbler or cake, or satisfying a craving for sweet potatoes and stuffing, make sure to adhere to the following tips to minimize any potential damage to teeth and gums:
- Drink plenty of water to keep saliva production in motion, as this will flush out any bad oral bacteria and minimize the chances of sugars adhering to teeth.
- Adopt a good oral hygiene routine at night when preparing for bed that includes brushing for two minutes, flossing, and rinsing with an ADA-approved mouthwash.
- Fill plates with protein and vegetables as opposed to sweets and starches, as they serve as natural toothbrushes and can improve gum health while also combatting decay.
- Add a scoop of cranberries to the plate, as they are known to slow the progression of tooth decay by eliminating bacteria.
Knowing how to care for one’s smile during the holidays will ensure that a healthy smile is carried on into the new year.
About Grand Dental – Lockport
At Grand Dental – Lockport, our team of professionals believes in preventive dentistry and encourages patients of all ages to adopt good oral hygiene habits at home while also maintaining regular dental checkups and cleanings. When preparing for the holidays, we can provide helpful tips that will ensure the health and longevity of smiles well into the new year and beyond. Visit our website or call (815) 240-8068 to learn more.