#1: Moderate The Amount Of Alcohol You Drink
It may be tempting to celebrate with cocktails, wine, and beer during the holidays, but it’s important not to overdo it. Consider keeping your alcohol intake to a minimum, as moderate to excessive drinking can affect your oral health in the following ways:
- Increase the risk of tooth decay: Alcohol increases the risk of tooth decay and cavities because alcohol breaks down into sugar, which is then consumed by harmful bacteria. This same type of harmful bacteria converts these sugars into acidic waste that can create holes in your teeth over time.
- Increases the risk of gum disease: Alcohol can increase the amount of plaque that forms in your mouth. Gradually, plaque can harden into tartar, which leads to the development of periodontal disease.
- Dry mouth: Drinking dehydrates your body and your mouth produces less saliva when you drink. Bacteria from food particles and other debris can stay in your mouth when you do not have enough saliva to sweep and wash them away from the surface and crevices of teeth. Dry mouths are more prone to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath than those with healthy levels of saliva.
#2: Minimize The Soda And Snacks You Consume
Drinking soda can be one of the worst casual habits for your oral health. The sugar in soda can feed the harmful bacteria responsible for tooth decay. When sugar remains on the surface of your teeth, the harmful bacteria ingest the leftover sugars and produce acid that creates permanent holes in your teeth.
If you are frequently snacking during the holiday season, you may be exposing your teeth to high levels of sugar. When snacking, it can be a better bet to pick foods that do not cause plaque accumulation such as apples, carrots, or celery. Avoiding gummy snacks is also important to protect your oral health. Gummy snacks also tend to accumulate on the rough surfaces of your teeth, where they can feed bacteria for extended periods of time.
#3: Protect Your Teeth With Good Habits
- Drink water: Choosing to drink more water over other beverages during the holiday season can be ideal. However, if you decide to drink other beverages with sugar or you eat sugary foods, drink a glass of water right after. This will help dilute the impact of the sugars on your teeth.
- Brushing your teeth: don’t forget to brush twice a day–once in the morning, and once before bed.
- Good oral hygiene: In addition to brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily and using mouthwash can dramatically minimize the development of tooth decay. Good oral health can be the result of these collective habits.
- Sugar-free options: Although it would be ideal, avoiding sugar in what you eat and drink can be difficult. When possible, try sugar-free alternatives.
- Healthier options: If sugar-free choices are not appealing to you, you can try healthier choices like fruit and low-fat and low-sugar yogurt.
#4: Don’t Forget To Visit Your Dentist–Even During The Holiday Season
The holidays can be hectic, but that’s no reason to put off visiting your dentist. Professional cleanings and exams are important to preserving your dental health, so both you and your dentist can absolutely make time for that, despite the festivities.
If you are seeking dental care in the West Palm Beach, FL area, consider The Sadati Center For Aesthetic Dentistry in Wellington for your family and cosmetic dentistry needs. The Sadati Center is proud to offer teeth whitening, dental implants, metal-free fillings, and even express dentistry for patients traveling in the South Florida area. Call 888-873-3558 to ask about a check-up or schedule a visit today.