As you prepare for the holidays by decorating, buying gifts, or mailing out festive cards, our Mill Valley dentists want to encourage you to do one more bit of planning—for your smile. Here are some steps that you can take to protect your oral health through the holidays…
Notice Risky Ingredients
For many people the holiday season is filled with sugary drinks, candies, cookies, and alcoholic beverages. And, while all of these treats may seem harmless enough, the truth is that the more sugary and acidic substances that you consume, the harder it is for your body to keep oral bacteria in check.
Oral bacteria use sugars and refined carbohydrates as fuel, so if you coat your mouth in sugar, you are creating an ideal environment for bacteria. Acidic substances temporarily weaken dental enamel, thus making it easier for bacteria to infiltrate the tooth structure.
In order to minimize the effects of sugary and acidic treats, you can get into the habit of rinsing your smile throughout the day. Vigorously swish with water in order to dislodge food particles, clear away bacterial plaque, and prompt healthy saliva production. Rinsing only takes a minute, and your mouth will feel and smell fresher as a result.
Now is the time to make a plan about how and when you will indulge in holiday treats. Making a plan will help you avoid sipping and snacking continuously. Limiting the amount of time during which your smile is exposed to sugars and acids, simultaneously limits the number of hours that oral bacteria are able to be active and affecting your oral health.
Our Mill Valley dentists are here to answer your questions about maintaining oral health all year long. We look forward to speaking with you!