Turkey is on the way. Santa is gearing up for another stupendous Christmas. And the round-the-clock influx of delicious food and sweets is beginning to rear its tasty little head.
However, we need to be extra-vigilant to ensure that our teeth stay in tip-top shape throughout the holiday season. So, if you’re thinking about getting Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry a present, consider these few wishes that our dentists have.
It isn’t all dark…well maybe just a little.
Dark chocolates have been shown to protect against diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Diseases that have been associated with dental health. However, it’s important to make sure that any dark chocolate sweets you imbibe in are at least 60 percent or more real cocoa.
Milk chocolate and white chocolate don’t offer the same health benefits, and you’ll just end up adding unwanted calories to your diet, as well as saturate your teeth with sugar.
Gum can be your friend.
The secret to this one is sugar-free gum. Popping a stick of gum post-meal actually helps to produce extra saliva that can help to clean up bacteria and plaque.
Chewing on a piece of sugar-free gum after a meal helps to inhibit a dry-mouth environment, which is how bacteria flourish and cause tooth decay. Plus, you don’t even have to chew the gum for too long. About 20 minutes should be good enough.
Just make sure you look for gums that are labeled with the ADA seal, which shows that they contain non-cavity causing sweeteners.
Say No to Sticky Stockings
Everybody loves to find sweet surprises in their stockings, but be aware that sticky treats can cause some major dental issues.
While most of us will think of gummy bears and taffy as the most popular choices, the truth is that dried fruits, like apricots, can be just as damaging. Chewy candies and dried fruits make your jaw and teeth work harder, tends to leave particles lingering in your mouth for longer, and increases your potential for cavities. Plus, they are a major no-no for those with braces.
But if you just can’t stop yourself from gulping down a couple of gummy worms, then consider having your fill at one sitting. You are more likely to cause cavities by eating candy all day, so avoid exposing your teeth to sugar so often.
Treat yourself to some healthy foods.
At holiday events, skip out on the sugary treats and instead, fill your plate with veggies, cheese, and turkey.
Veggies such as broccoli and carrots are chock full of vitamin A, which helps to strengthen teeth. Cheese is an excellent source of calcium, and the pH balancing effects can help to ward off the acid in those alcoholic drinks you might sip on at the office party.
And don’t be afraid to take a little more turkey. It’s an excellent source of phosphorus and protein, which help to fight tooth decay and work to keep your chompers nice and strong.
Don’t use your pearly whites as a tool!
There’s going to be presents to wrap (and unwrap), packages to open, and a variety of other tasks we’ll come across in which we might be tempted to use our teeth. Don’t do it! Using your teeth as a tool can lead to chips and breaks.
Having a sweet, sugar-free, holiday season.
The holiday season usually brings out the baker in us, and there’s nothing better than warm cookies on a chilly fall night. But those sugary treats we eat help to create the perfect environment for bacteria that causes tooth decay. So what should you do?
Consider using sugar-free sweeteners in your holiday recipes. Xylitol is an excellent choice approved by the FDA and has been shown to reduce the amount of bacteria that can cause cavities. The sugar alcohol is commonly used in chewing gum, mints, and cereals, and can be used as a substitute for sugar in your recipes.
To keep those pearly whites shining bright all year long, remember these tips during the holiday season.
If you’re looking for dental services to get your holiday season started, contact Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry at any of our three Rio Grande Valley locations. You can call our Laredo office at 956-568-6690, our Mission office at (956) 581-4403, or our San Juan office at (956) 223-4428.