The newsLINK Group - How to Protect Your Teeth over the Holidays

Editorial Library Category: General Business | Dental | General Dentistry Topics: Dental, Teeth Health Title: How to Protect Your Teeth over the Holidays Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Most people enjoy the holiday season, with its opportunities for sharing good times and good food with those they love best. But for your teeth, the holidays can be really bad news. Editorial: How to Protect Your Teeth over the Holidays 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Why the Holidays Are Bad News Most people enjoy the holiday season, with its opportunities for sharing good times and good food with those they love best. But for your teeth, the holidays can be really bad news: For someone with braces, dental crowns, or bridges, sticky foods and candies can damage the braces and pull a crown or bridge right off. You might be embarrassed inconvenienced if that happens, and it could be uncomfortable for you as well. Many people eat more sweets during the holiday season. The days are shorter, the nights are dark and cold, and the weather can be bad… it’s no wonder that so many people want to have a little fun and give themselves a break from winter. If you aren’t careful, though, you may end up with some unpleasant time in a dentist’s chair. Preventing Damage A few cookies, along with cakes and candies, may seem like a harmless way of making life more enjoyable. But when you eat something sweet, chances are it involves sugar, which is a simple carbohydrate. Some of the bacteria in your mouth finds the carbohydrate and digests it, producing an acid that begins to dissolve the enamel on your teeth. If you eat and don’t brush your teeth, the enamel on your teeth may be under attack from the acid for as much as 20 minutes at a time. At the same time, though, who wants to go through the holiday season without an occasional indulgence here and there? Here’s how to minimize the damage without giving up all the treats: Be selective. The only useful purpose most treats have is giving you pleasure. Few things are worse than eating something you don’t care about, and realizing that you’ve hurt your teeth (and your waistline, for that matter) without even having any fun. If you feel indifferent about a particular treat, then don’t put it in your mouth. Throw it out or give it away. (Waiting to throw something out can help because who wants to eat stale cookies, cakes, or candy?) Take care of your teeth every single day. Brush at least twice a day; floss at least once; use toothpicks when necessary. You might want to consider investing in a good-quality electric toothbrush. If you don’t have a toothbrush with you, find a water fountain. You’re supposed to see a dentist twice a year and get your teeth cleaned. One of those appointments can be during the holiday season when your teeth are more at risk anyway? Try sugar-free candy. This isn’t for everyone, but it might work for you. Too much sugar, salt, and fat are a bad idea anyway. Why not experiment with some of the sugar-free candy alternatives and see whether they taste good to you or not? Don’t graze, and don’t eat too much. The whole point about eating something sweet is that it is also supposed to be small and infrequent. How can something truly be a treat if you eat it all the time? Split a dessert with a friend our spouse; just ask for an extra fork and another plate. (Most restaurant desserts are so expensive these days, you may pay almost as much for the dessert as you did for the meal. Sharing one has the added benefit of making your treat frugal as well as delicious.) Don’t put out bowls of candy at home, and be careful about how much candy you take from the bowls other people set out. If you make sure that when you have a treat, you keep the frequency down and the quantities small, you’ll enjoy yourself more. You won’t gain as much weight, and your teeth will stay in better shape. But don’t forget: When you do decide to have a treat, enjoy it! Sources: http://www.dentistry.com/conditions/cavities/avoiding- tooth-decay-during-the-holidays http://www.locateadoc.com/articles/5-ways-to-protect-your- teeth-over-halloween-and-holiday-season-1772.html

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