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Woman smiling for holidays

The holiday season is here again, and you’re excited about exchanging gifts, gathering with family and friends and eating your favorite foods. Your dentist in Carmel says don’t forget about protecting your oral health in the midst of enjoying all the holidays you have to offer. Stay locked in to learn 5-holiday oral health tips!

Tip #1 – Don’t Be Afraid to Say ‘No’

Over the holidays, for many people, there will be a surplus of food, which can lead to overeating. Over-indulging doesn’t just affect the waistline, though. It can have adverse effects on your oral health as well.

The main concern is sugar, which is present in desserts, starchy foods, and beverages. Bacteria prefer sugar as a food source. Thus, if there are leftover particles after a meal, the bacteria in your mouth feed on and absorb them and release acids that cause tooth decay.

An effective strategy is to set a limit for how much you’ll eat each day, and don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ if you’re offered more than your pre-determined allotment of food.

Tip #2 – Look for Healthier Alternatives

One way to reduce the amount of sugar you consume is to incorporate some reduced-sugar alternatives into your diet. Some dental-health-friendly foods are nuts, gingerbread, cheeses, and peppermint-flavored items.

Tip #3 – Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking water not only helps to hydrate your body and digest your food, but it also aids in removing leftover residue from your mouth. That’s because it bathes your teeth when you drink after eating a meal.

Tip #4 – Practice Excellent Oral Hygiene

A sure way to prevent tooth decay is to perform sufficient oral hygiene. As a general rule of thumb, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you wait an hour after eating a meal to perform oral hygiene to prevent damage to your enamel (the outer surface of your teeth).

Your routine should include brushing and flossing because the combination of the two ensures that all the surfaces of your teeth will be cleaned sufficiently.

Tip #5 – Visit Your Dentist

Another way to shore-up your oral health over the holidays is to visit your dentist for preventive care. While you’re there, you’ll receive the following:

  • Full examination so the dentist can evaluate your oral health
  • A set of X-rays to provide images of the hard-to-see areas of the mouth
  • Professional teeth cleaning to remove plaque and tartar that could cause dental health issues

To make your holiday season as productive and safe as it is fun, reach out to your local dentist to schedule a preventive care visit today!

About the Author

Dr. David J. Kristoff earned his dental degree from the Indiana University School of Dentistry. He has since gone on to expand his knowledge by taking hours of continuing education courses throughout his career. Dr. Kristoff helps patients maintain their dental health over the holidays by providing preventive care at his private practice, and he can be reached for more information through his website.