The season of delicious holiday treats is here! Grandma’s crunchy gingerbread cookies, bright peppermint candy canes, and party bowls filled with fancy nuts are plentiful, along with sweet drinks like eggnog. It's time to celebrate with family and friends.
To make sure your smile stays bright (and intact) through the holidays, the team at Mountain View Orthodontics has put together these suggestions: 1) Minimize the number of sweets you and your family eat. Cutting back can be tough, especially at holiday parties. If you do indulge, try to eat sweets as part of a meal instead of a stand-alone treat. Saliva produced while eating foods does help reduce the amount of sugar on your teeth.
2) If you wear braces, be careful with the following treats, which can be challenging to clean off your teeth. These treats can also break wires or teeth!
Candy canes and peppermint bark
Hard snacks like popcorn or nuts
Stickier desserts (pecan pie or fruitcake) or candies (caramels or taffy)
Sweet beverages like cider, hot chocolate, and eggnog
Red and white wine
3) Choose water over sugary drinks. Water helps clean your mouth, washes food from teeth, and keeps your gums hydrated. If you live in an area with fluoride in the water, your teeth will get extra protection.
4) Look for apples, kiwis, or strawberries on those beautiful fruit trays. The natural fiber in these delicious options helps remove food particles and bacteria from your teeth.
5) If you can find the right fruits, try fresh carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, or cucumbers. These act as natural teeth and gum cleaners, too.
6) You may be surprised to learn that certain cheeses like cheddar, Monterey Jack, and brie can be useful for your teeth. Cheese contains minerals like phosphate and calcium that strengthen teeth. The ingredients also reduce harmful acid in your mouth, helping your saliva work more effectively and reducing the risk of cavities.
7) Fresh herbs like parsley, mint, or cilantro have natural bacteria-fighting properties. Add them to your salad or nibble a bit after a meal for fresher breath and a healthier smile.
8) Keep up with your dental routines. Regular brushing and flossing (at least twice daily), even after a late-night party, will help you maintain your dental health. If you don't have time to brush your teeth after eating, at least try to rinse your mouth with water. And if you wear Invisalign trays, be sure to remove them before eating or drinking.
9) Try to get rest during the holidays. Adults benefit from 7 and 9 hours of sleep to function at the top-level. Children and teens benefit from 8 hours up to 12 hours of rest. When your overall health is robust, your dental health is usually good, too.
10) Remember to check-in with Mountain View Orthodontics, Roanoke, VA! We know this is a busy time of year, but if you have a scheduled appointment, please honor it. We want to make sure your smile and your mouth remain healthy during the holidays. Treat yourself (and your teeth) with extra-special care.
Contact us with any questions or to schedule an appointment. If we don’t see you this month, have a joyous, safe, and healthy holiday season!