Face it, the holidays are a difficult time to be calorically restrained. If you enjoy eating (and especially if you have a sweet tooth) the plethora of delicious eating and drinking opportunities can prove to be quite challenging to resist. Unfortunately, many traditional holiday goodies are full of sugar, acid, and/or carbohydrates. All of these compounds can lead to issues with your dental health. Pella, IA dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Allen, has some ideas of how you can enjoy the holidays without ending up with unwanted tooth decay and gum disease under the tree.
A Little Holiday Restraint
A holiday party here and there is one thing, but if you enjoy eating, drinking, and being merry, every single day throughout the holiday season, there can be long term consequences on your oral and overall health. Copious amounts of wine, beers, sodas, energy drinks, citrus punches and juices, fruit pies, and many other foods and drinks are marked by a high acid content. Acid softens tooth enamel, which leaves your smile vulnerable to tooth decay and gum infections. Sugar feeds the germs that cause cavities, so combining acid and sugar in holiday treats doubles your potential tooth troubles.
If you do eat a highly acidic or very sugary food, you can neutralize acids with high calcium foods like cheese and yogurt. You can do the same thing by chewing a stick of sugar-free gum. If that’s not an option, and you’re in the middle of a holiday soiree, consider following up sugar and acids with hard or crisp foods such as cruciferous veggies from that delicious crudité platter. Mixed nuts can have a scrubbing element as well. These are common party snacks that can allow you to enjoy yourself without necessarily damaging your teeth. When you get a chance to brush your teeth you should wait about 30 minutes so that your softened tooth enamel has a chance to harden again. Brushing too soon can permanently damage your enamel.
Visit your Pella, IA Dentist
Dr. Jeffrey Allen provides comfortable dental care to patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment, contact Allen Family Dentistry by calling (641) 628-1121. We are located on the west side of the historic town square in Pella, IA. Please see the map for directions.