Winter is here which means holiday treats are everywhere. Snacking on sweets throughout the day or during an extended period of time (such as at a holiday party) is especially harmful, since damaging acids form in the mouth every time you eat a sugary snack and continue to affect the teeth for at least 20 minutes afterwards.

You can avoid getting cavities and still enjoy holiday indulgences by making sure you practice great oral care. Here are some tips:

  1. Rinse before brushing - This will wash away acid and any stains that have built up from the consumption of acidic foods and beverages.
  2. Chew sugar free gum - This will help wash out food particles and produces natural saliva to help balance acid in your mouth. An added bonus it will help your breath smell nice after a holiday meal.
  3. Stress Less - the holidays can lead to increased amounts of stress and anxiety. We see patients come in with incidents of grinding and clenching their teeth which can cause jaw pain, chippings and severe headaches. We recommend night guards but it is important to prevent the pain by finding ways to alleviate stress.
  4. Floss more - Flossing prevents gingivitis and periodontal disease. Your teeth and wallet will thank you this New Year if you floss more this season. One of the main complaints we hear about flossing is inconvenience. Floss Picks are easy to use and they are portable. It's floss on one end and toothpick on the other end. You can floss anywhere and anytime.

We want to ensure that you enjoy your holiday season. Making smart choices and putting your teeth first will not only give you a Merry December, but it will help you have a Happy New Year!