December 1, 2016
Christmas is not the time to have a dental problem. Did you know you could cause a lot of damage to your teeth and gums over the holidays? Call our Fairfax, VA dental office today at 703-552-2530 and schedule an appointment for dental exams and dental cleanings. You need your teeth to be their best, and Christmas can hurt them. Thankfully, Dr. Ki is well-trained in diagnosing and treating dental problems.
The Biggest Problems: Cavities And Gum Disease
When it comes to your dental health, sugar is always a threat. That’s because harmful bacteria thrive on sugar and carbs. You leave behind tiny particles of food whenever you eat, but those bacteria especially love sugar.
As they grow, they secrete an acid that causes tooth decay and gum disease. Those are probably the two biggest threats to your smile this Christmas season. It’s not Christmas without plenty of food, snacks, and drinks. So many contain sugar that tooth decay and gum disease can easily get worse at this time of year.
It’s silly to skip all sugary foods at Christmas. Just make sure you enjoy in moderation. Have one cookie instead of three, and limit your sodas and sweet coffees.
Ways To Protect Your Smile This Christmas Season
With that in mind, here are some specific ways you can protect your smile at Christmas this year.
Skip the candy canes.
These Christmastime treats are almost completely made of sugar. Even the mini candy canes have around 10 grams of sugar each. Plus, you can accidentally create a sharp point depending on how you eat it. Get bumped while eating one, and you could hurt your gums. Have one if it helps you enjoy Christmas more, then put the rest away.
Keep up with brushing and flossing normally, even if you travel.
You need to brush and floss your teeth every day, not just when it’s easier to do. That’s even more true during the holidays because of all that sugar and food you’ll enjoy. If you’re at home, that should be too difficult. But if you travel, make sure you bring your toothbrush and dental floss along with you. Lay them out by your bed so you won’t forget to use both.
Rinse your mouth out after eating.
However, do not brush right after eating. If you enjoy acidic treats like fruit or wine, you actually grind that acid into your enamel, causing more damage. That’s why you should rinse your mouth with plain water after you are done eating and drinking. Then brush after about an hour has passed. The acid should be washed away by then.
Avoid sticky desserts and sweets.
Toffee, marshmallows, and similar foods are bad for your teeth in two ways. First, they’re chock full of sugar that feeds the bacteria behind cavities and gum disease. Second, they’re sticky. As you chew, the sugar coats the inside of your mouth and sticks there. It’s like opening small restaurants for bacteria. Sure, you’ll wash away the sticky stuff eventually. In the meantime, it will allow harmful bacteria to grow.
Don’t use your teeth to open or hold anything.
When it comes to wrapping or even opening presents, it’s tempting to use your teeth as another hand. How many times have you held a pen in your mouth or tore off a piece of tape with your teeth? The problem is that your teeth were not designed for that kind of work. One slip, and you could end up cutting your gums or jarring your teeth together hard enough to chip a tooth. Take the time to use both hands and both hands only this Christmas time.
Schedule a dental cleaning and exam for after Christmas
Christmas can be rough on your teeth and gums. All that sugar, alcohol, dark foods, and more lead to problems. You could find yourself with cavities, gum disease, stained teeth, and worse.
Call us today at 703-552-2530 or use our online form to schedule dental exams and dental cleanings for right after the Christmas season is over. Our highly skilled dental hygienists can remove plaque and tartar to help keep your mouth healthy. And thanks to her advanced training, Dr. Ki is well-suited to find any problems with a thorough dental exam.
Don’t let a joyous holiday cause tooth decay or gum disease this year. Call our Fairfax, VA dental office today.