The holiday season means time off school and work, visiting with relatives near and far, and negotiating the mounds of sweet delights that seem to surround us at this time of year. For those of us who have a sweet tooth it can be hazardous, as we over indulge in sticky treats, neglecting to include vegetables and fruit in our daily snacks. If you just can’t seem to make it through the holidays without a treat (or two or five), keep the following tips in mind so that your teeth and smile head into the New Year looking and feeling healthy.
Candy Canes – Best Leave Them Hanging on the Tree
The danger of reaching for candy canes is not just the hardness of this candy, but the fact they take an incredibly long time to eat. This means constant sugar in the mouth for an extended period of time. Our previous blogs have talked about just how quickly acid attacks enamel, the hard, protective layer of the tooth. It takes a matter of seconds for oral bacteria to release acid once they start feeding on sugar and other carbohydrates, and the acid can remain on the tooth surfaces for up to thirty minutes. Hard candy that requires a significant amount of time to consume should be avoided to prevent teeth from being under a prolonged acid attack.
Go Easy with Chewy Caramels – Especially if You Have Dentistry
Caramels can spell trouble for those of us who have dentistry in our mouth, as chewy caramels have been known to dislodge fillings, disturb crowns and bridges, and increase inflammation of gums due to their high sugar content. But even you if don’t have to have dentistry, you can succumb to the damage chewy caramels create in a mouth. Their sticky, gooey texture means that this candy easily becomes lodged between teeth and under gum tissue, escaping toothbrush bristles and getting to hide out for far too long between teeth. If you just can’t resist your favorite caramel, try to limit the quantity you consume, and make an effort to brush and floss soon, so that traces of sticky sugar aren’t left on teeth.
Watch Out for Sugary Drinks
It’s not just candy that can increase your risk of dental decay – holiday drinks like eggnog and anything carbonated can also put you at risk of developing cavities. Drinking anything sugary results in sugar being washed around the mouth which creates the same acid reaction as eating a candy — only with more surface area of the mouth being impacted. We’re not saying don’t enjoy a festive drink, but follow it up with a glass of water to help dilute the acid and rinse sugars from tooth surfaces.
Curious to know what you can eat and drink that’s good for you and your smile? Follow our next blog to learn about tooth friendly treats and snacks. Worried about a nagging toothache? Don’t wait too long to contact your Calgary dentist as tooth pain can ruin the holidays. Contact the team at Ranchlands Dental today online or by phone at (403) 239-5212.