It’s that time of year and nothing says Happy Holidays like the deluge of sweets that we are inevitably confronted with from, albeit well-wishing, friends and family. Though they have the best intentions, they bombard your mouth with snack after snack of teeth-staining, bacteria-loving, plaque-building goodness. How do we say no to a pie made with love … and all that sticky sugar?
Well the good news is we don’t have to completely abstain from our traditions for the sake of good dental hygiene. Just taking some extra precautions can help counter the ill-effects of your yummy choices.
If you do partake in any of these naughty (yet oh-so-good!) holiday favorites, understanding how they attack your teeth can help remind you to brush more frequently and drink plenty of water in between.
The Naughty List
It’s common knowledge that red wine stains your teeth but did you know that white wine is just as bad? The acidity in all wines will wear away at your teeth leaving small holes and cracks that allow staining to occur. White wine, though we may think is safer than red wine for stains, actually leaves your teeth a brownish-red color. It’s important to drink water in between sips of wine, or indeed anything acidic. You should also wait to brush your teeth for about 30 minutes to an hour after eating or drinking anything acidic.
Crackers are good at sticking around in your mouth, which is bad news for your teeth if you don’t take action. Bacteria thrive wherever food lives too long so brushing, flossing and drinking water are the keys here. Make sure that you rinse your mouth well with water until you have time to brush and floss away the little bits that stick around.
This is one of the stickier pies that will land on your plate this season. Though all pies are built around the culinary celebration of the greatest ingredient known to man – sugar – pecan pies have a much more sticky consistency that make it especially bad for your teeth. Try drinking water with this dessert and again, brushing and flossing are more important than ever.
Dr. Hall’s advice, try to remember that anything sticky and sugary or acidic are the big no-no’s this season. This means soda, hard candy, figgy pudding, fruit cake, and so many others. Water, brushing and flossing, as always, are the way to combat these. Want to go a step further for the sake of your healthy teeth and gums? Schedule a cleaning now to start the New Year off right.