The next few months are packed full of different holidays and our teeth are likely to be bombarded by sugary foods and drinks that can wreak havoc on our smiles! Never fear, we have some advice that will help get you and your teeth through the holiday season.
Three key words.....Everything In Moderation! It is important to balance dental health and the fact that we all like an occasional sweet treat. One tip is to limit how much candy is consumed at one time. For example, consider having one piece after lunch or maybe one to two pieces after dinner.
Another tip is to consider what type of candy you are consuming. Sweets such as chocolate are not as bad for the teeth as sticky candies like Skittles, Jolly Ranchers, and Tootsie Rolls. The latter stay in your mouth longer than chocolate and prolong the exposure time of sugar to the dental enamel.
The same chewy and sticky candies that cause tooth decay can also damage fillings and crowns by pulling them out, or by breaking otherwise perfectly healthy teeth.
Beyond Halloween, the next few holidays tend to be times when people are more flexible in the types of foods and drinks they consume. Parents may be more inclined to treat their children to sodas or other carbonated beverages. Sodas are very acidic and can cause erosion of the dental enamel. But again, moderation is key and remember to rinse the mouth with water after consuming these beverages.
Alcoholic beverages such as red wine might stain the teeth as well as cause erosion. White wine is less likely to stain and limiting intake will also minimize wear of the enamel.
But no matter what the sweet treat, the teeth should always be brushed and flossed properly. Children younger than 8years-old need parental supervision with this process since their manual dexterity is not yet fully developed.
We can all still enjoy the holiday season and even have treats and sweets as long as we don't go overboard.