Holidays are a time for family, food, and reckless eating habits. Not only are you in close proximity to Uncle Richard, with his boisterous political opinions and obsession with Bitcoin, but right there next to him are cookies, pumpkin pie, and alcoholic beverages, which can all conveniently be used as an excuse to keep your mouth shut. We don’t blame you for that fourth cookie. The problem is that all these treats carry with them several adverse health risks, and can seriously wreck your oral health.
If you’re not careful, it’s possible that the especially dangerous mixture of sugar, carbohydrates, dairy, and acid could bring you some unwanted presents, cavities or gum disease. To avoid an expensive 2018, here is a list of three types foods to avoid.
Though iconic decorations, candy canes are one of the worst treats for your teeth. That’s because of the slow release of sugar that occurs while they rest in our mouths, making it difficult for our saliva to flush away.
As many know, sugar is a major culprit in both tooth decay and gum disease for a few reasons. Inside our mouths are trillions of bacteria that help to break down food before it ever hits our stomachs. A few types of bacteria are specifically designed to break down sugar, but the by-product of this interaction is acid, which dissolves enamel, and leaves our teeth susceptible to cavities.
We know that for many people, a festive holiday season means drinking. Whether you’re warming your wassail or toasting the New Year, alcohol makes the holidays a little more joyous for many of us. After all, how else could anyone stand to listen to Uncle Richard?
But alcohol is bad for your oral health. It dries out your mouth immediately, and it can lead to dehydration, which dries your mouth even more. Many alcoholic drinks are highly acidic, and they get even more so when they’re mixed. If you drink to excess, you may be tempted to skip oral hygiene. And you may get sick, which exposes your teeth to stomach acid. So although you don’t have to completely avoid alcohol this year, you should be aware of your consumption. You should also drink water between alcoholic drinks to stay hydrated and rinse acid from your teeth.
Even though many of us were told again and again that sugar is the mouth’s enemy, in many cases acidic foods or drinks such as citrus or sparkling wine can be worse. That’s because it’s not generally the sugar that damages our teeth, but the acidic byproducts created from mouth bacteria.
Drinks such as coffee, wine, and hot chocolate have a similar effect. The difference is that wine also has a staining property that can be especially effective at staining your teeth, because it also wears down enamel.
If you’re worried about holiday foods, there are a few things your can do. Flushing your mouth out with water after consuming something harmful can provide protection, but regular dental cleanings are best if preventing cavities and gum disease is your goal.
If you can’t remember the last time you had a cleaning, it may be time to schedule an appointment. To speak with a general dentist in Wichita Falls, TX, please call (940) 322-2252 today for an appointment at StarImage Dentistry.