What have you planned for your Thanksgiving holiday? Due to pandemic concerns, many people will be forgoing the usual large holiday gatherings. However, that doesn’t mean we’ll also be forgoing our favorite dishes, many of which are high in sugar and starch. In today’s blog, your Houston, TX, dentist has a few tips for protecting your smile during the holiday season.
The Dangers of Sugar and Starch
Sugar and starch are two mainstays of our favorite main dishes, sides, and desserts at the holidays. Sugar is found in everything from pies and cakes to cranberry sauce and sweet potato dishes. Starch is in stuffing, biscuits, muffins, and basically anything with potatoes. These two ingredients tend to become stuck on and between our teeth when we eat them. Bacteria love to consume these particles, and in the process, the levels of oral acidity in mouth will rise and the teeth will become coated in plaque. Not only does plaque make teeth stains more visible and cause bad breath, but the buildup weakens enamel to increase the risk of tooth decay.
Tips for Healthy Mealtimes
How do you enjoy the dishes you look forward to without putting your smile at risk? To start, practice moderation by limiting how many sugary and starchy dishes you consume. When you do eat them, drink water too, which helps cleanse your smile of stray food particles. Often, fresh veggies and fruits like carrots, broccoli, and apples could be rough enough to essentially scrub the smile as you consume them, protecting them from buildup. Finally, don’t be afraid to excuse yourself after a meal to head to the bathroom and floss thoroughly!
Be Sure to Brush and Floss
Even during the holidays, you need to practice good dental hygiene. Which means in the morning and in the evening before bed you should brush your teeth for about two minutes. Whether you use electric or manual toothbrushes, make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride, which makes the preventive enamel stronger. Before bed each night, you also need to floss up and down the length of each side of every tooth, and dip below the gum line, as this extracts what could be beyond the reach of a toothbrush’s bristles.
Schedule a Dental Cleanings
Be sure to schedule a cleaning soon too! We remove plaque to help your smile stay healthy, and you also have a chance to use the last remaining portions of your dental insurance benefits before they expire at the close of December.
Remember to wash your hands regularly, wear a mask when around others, and to avoid large indoor gatherings to slow the spread of COVID-19!
OUR HOUSTON, TX DENTIST’S OFFICE OFFERS PREVENTIVE CARE
At our Houston, TX dentist’s office, we want to help you better care for your smile from home, especially around the holidays. Find out more about keeping cavities at bay by calling Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry at (281) 974-4494.