Give Yourself an Important Gift — A Healthy Smile
If you think you have a lot to deal with during the holidays, imagine how your teeth must feel. From Halloween until after Christmas, people repeatedly expose their teeth to everything that’s bad for them. Candies, cookies, pies, cakes and various indulgent beverages, especially when consumed often, create the ideal conditions for dental problems. If your New Years resolution is to have a healthy smile, here are some ways you can get started.
Avoid Acidic Beverages
If you want to avoid tooth decay and unsightly stains, try to limit your enjoyment of things like coffee, citrusy drinks, sugary drinks and red wine. These beverages have a high acid content, which can damage the enamel of your teeth with chronic exposure. Furthermore, the tannins in coffee and wine can leave your teeth an unpleasant brownish color.
Watch Your Sugar Intake
Sugar is one of the biggest causes of tooth decay, so it’s important to enjoy it in moderation. Eating large amounts of sugar regularly causes an increase in the populations of harmful oral bacteria. What makes things worse is that these bacteria secrete acids as a metabolic by-product, which weaken your tooth enamel further. It’s okay to enjoy the occasional sugary treat, but try to avoid making a habit of it this holiday season.
Brush After Snacks
When you do indulge, it’s important to make sure the sugar residues don’t remain on your teeth too long. The less time it spends there, the less damage it can do. However, you shouldn’t brush immediately. Your tooth enamel is still vulnerable from eating, so brushing right away would only cause more damage. Instead, wait at least half an hour, and then brush your teeth thoroughly.
Take a Calcium Supplement
Because all of those holiday treats can wear away at tooth enamel, it’s important to supply your body with the nutrients it needs to repair damage. At times when your teeth undergo the most abuse, consider taking a calcium supplement. This will help make your enamel layer sturdier and more resistant to erosion.
Get a Checkup
Right after the holidays is the ideal time to schedule a dental checkup appointment for you and your family. After so much time spent indulging in the holiday offerings, it’s a good time to start pampering your teeth with cleanings and fluoride treatments. Furthermore, a checkup allows your dentist to see if there are any existing problems and tell you what you can do about them.