As the holiday season begins, we can’t help but get excited with the joy and laughter that seems just around the corner. Family, friends, and good home cooked meals are just a few of the best things about the holidays. This time of year, it’s always nice to take a moment to reflect on all the good things in our lives, while also taking time to recommit ourselves to healthier lifestyle choices.
Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to start thinking of ways to stay healthy! From Thanksgiving through the end of December, there are plenty of opportunities to improve the health of your teeth, gums, and total body. As the gateway to the entire body, the mouth plays a vital role in holistic health. Take a moment to review this list of tips for cavity prevention during the holidays, and experience health benefits that extend far beyond the teeth and gums.
6 Causes of Cavities During the Holidays
#1: Napping After Meals
From the carbs in the potatoes to the tryptophan in the turkey, there are a bunch of reasons to feel sleepy after a big holiday meal. Taking a nap right afterward, however, sets the stage for the buildup of plaque, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Try: After the meal, avoid sweets that might give you a sugar crash. Or, sip some hot tea or decaffeinated coffee, both of which are lower in caffeine than regular Joe. Finally, remember to always brush and floss before going to bed, even if it’s just for a short nap.
#2: Over Indulging in Sweets
A sugar-induced nap is not the only downside to over indulging in desserts. Pie, cake, and other sweets are high in sugar, which promotes plaque buildup and acid-producing bacteria that eventually causes tooth decay. Sugar also finds its way into the fissures and spaces in the teeth, often going close to the gum line where it cannot be removed with an ordinary tooth brush and dental floss.
Try: Limit sweets this holiday season, and begin the new year with a dental check-up and professional deep cleaning.
#3: Keeping Sweets Out
As mentioned above, sugar can cause serious harm to the teeth and gums. Sweets can be very hard to avoid during the holidays, however. Cookies platters, boxes of chocolates, and other treats are often strewn about the home for guests to enjoy.
Try: When hosting a meal or event, keep sweets put away until after the appetizers and main courses are served. After everyone has had a chance to enjoy some tasty desserts, put them away so you won’t be tempted to over indulge.
#4: Going to Sleep Without Flossing
So you’re busy all morning, eating all afternoon, and simply exhausted by evening. You manage to brush your teeth, but suddenly flossing seems to be an expendable task.
Try: As your brushing your teeth, reflect on all the delicious food you enjoyed during the day. And while you’re feeling grateful for having so much to enjoy, also take a moment to visualize how that food gets jammed between your teeth and pressed into the gum line. Remember that gum infection may form in 48 hours or less. Then, re-evaluate your decision to not floss.
#5: Drinking Too Little Water
Juice, punch, soda, wine, coffee, and tea. They might be liquids, but they are no substitute for water. Many are high in sugar, which can only cause more damage to your teeth, gums, and total body health.
Try: Drink 12-16 ounces of water as soon as you wake up. Then, drink another 12-16 ounces every 3 hours. By the end of the day, you’ll have drunk enough water to keep your body hydrated and your oral tissues moderately cleansed. Drinking more water is also a good way to make sure you don’t accidentally over eat throughout the day.
#6: Departing From Normal Routine
It’s the holidays, so you deserve a break, right? Well, yes and no. The holidays might be a great time to relax and spend time with family, but they are also a crucial time to stay on top of your most important habits.
Try: Take a moment to list your most important habits. They might include brushing, flossing, exercising, or reading before bed. Keep that list in your purse or wallet, and take a look at it throughout the day. Remember that some habits should never be broken, especially during the holidays.
Holistic Dentistry in Miami
At Assure A Smile, we believe your teeth will enjoy a much healthier lifestyle through proper nutrition, diet, and safe care. To experience holistic dentistry firsthand, readers are invited to schedule an appointment with Assure A Smile online or call our friendly front desk directly at 305-274-0047.