The holidays are upon us. This means cooler weather, warmer sweaters, and time with your loved ones. The holiday season also marks a time of indulgence for you and your family. Cookies, candy canes, and gingerbread houses are just the beginning of some of the wintery treats you and your children may be looking forward to. So, with all the sugary sweets on the rise, how do you keep your family’s teeth healthy? Learn how to enjoy the holidays, while keeping your smile looking and feeling great with some healthy eating habits from your family dentist in San Antonio.
Before getting into some healthy eating habits, it’s important to understand why sugar is bad for dental health. According to the American Dental Association, naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth love sugar. They feed on it, which in turn creates acid. This acid can eat away at your tooth enamel, causing decay and cavities. The more time your teeth are in contact with sugar, the higher risk you have of developing dental issues like cavities.
Sticky candies like taffy or caramel are worse for your teeth than chocolate and cake because they are much harder to wash away. Additionally, hard candies are worse than other sweets that dissolve faster because they stay in your mouth for a long period of time. Because these treats are so prevalent around the holidays, it’s paramount that you and your family brush your teeth twice a day to remove sugars and bacteria that create acids.
Especially during the holidays, encourage your children to floss to remove any sticky candy left in between their teeth after brushing.
Since the sugary candies and treats are at an all time high during the holidays, make sure everyone is drinking water! Most water contains fluoride—a natural ingredient that protects your enamel against decay. Water also is a great substitute for soda and sports drinks because it naturally washes food debris and bacteria away from your teeth.
If you or your children simply must indulge in a soda or hard candy, be sure to at least rinse your mouth out immediately after to wash away some of the sugar on your teeth.
Rather than serving dessert at the end of the night, incorporate it in your meals. This way, you and your family can still indulge in seasonal treats, but your healthy food will balance out the sugar intake and help neutralize acids. Your mouth also produces more saliva while eating, which helps naturally clean your teeth.
Last but certainly not least, schedule some time for you and your family to see your dentist in San Antonio. The holidays are a great time of year to schedule a cleaning and checkup to make sure everyone’s oral health is in tip-top shape.
Now that you know some healthy eating habits for your family, you can indulge in your favorite treats knowing that you’re still taking care of your pearly whites.
Dr. Racha W. Kadamani enjoys providing the best care possible for the whole family. She truly believes in patient education and preventive dentistry, which is why she provides her patients with tips on how to maintain good oral healthcare even when she’s not around. She currently practices at Laith Family Dentistry, where she can be contacted through her website or by phone at (210) 782-6842 for any questions.
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