Christmas is a time to be with family and friends, but also a time where we tend to indulge ourselves in sugary drinks and foods. While the occasional cup of hot cocoa or piece of pie is great, too much can put your smile at risk. How do you avoid tooth decay during the holidays?
Frequently Asked Questions About Avoiding Decay During the Holidays
Question: How do sugary foods and drinks cause decay?
Answer: When the foods you eat leave sugar coating your teeth, bacteria can break down the particles. In the process, oral acidity can increase and the teeth can become coated in a sticky biofilm known as plaque. Eventually, this weakens the outer enamel and allows bacteria to reach the inner layers of dentin, where a cavity can form.
Question: Will brushing and flossing help?
Answer: Yes! When you brush your teeth twice a day (when you wake up and again before going to bed) and floss every night before bed, you remove food particles from on and between the teeth. You then decrease the severity of plaque buildup in between dental cleaning visits, which can help you avoid the onset of tooth decay.
Question: Can I offer stocking stuffers to encourage better oral health?
Answer: Yes! You can give toothbrushes, kits with toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss, or even an affordable electronic toothbrush. All of these gifts can promote better oral health in the New Year. You can also purchase fun apps for your kids to use to help them brush correctly and for the recommended amount of time (two minutes each session).
Question: When should I see the dentist?
Answer: You should see you dentist for a checkup and cleaning every six months. However, if in between these visits you notice your teeth feel sensitive or ache, you should make an appointment to see if you need treatment for a cavity.