How to Have a Cavity-Free Christmas
We love the holiday season! The festive events, lights, reindeer, and Santa make the time of year so much fun. Many people see family and friends they don’t see the rest of the year and it is a time for reconnecting and celebration. Often, we celebrate and connect with food. This is a wonderful tradition and is one of the best things about the holidays. However, the feeling on January 1, when you realized you may have indulged in one too many slices of pumpkin pie isn’t always fun. Or the feeling at the when you find out all the cookies and cocoa may have encouraged tooth decay. We believe you can still enjoy all the fun of the holiday season without the sugar overload. Some of these tips and tricks will help you have a cavity-free Christmastime. If you think you may have a cavity, don’t wait! Come in and let Galleria of Smiles get you holiday ready.
How do Cavities Form?
Cavities can be tricky. Most people have a vague understanding of how cavities work, but really don’t understand the process fully. First, we need to start with the biofilm. The biofilm is a network of bacteria that covers the teeth like a thin blanket. Everyone has a biofilm as a part of a healthy oral environment. In the biofilm there are good bacteria and bad bacteria living together. Problems arise when the oral environment shifts to favor the bad bacteria growth. This occurs when the oral environment drops below the critical pH point of 5.5 often and for long periods of time. If bad bacteria are favored, and then fed they create acid that pulls minerals from your enamel and creates holes or cavities in the teeth. So, what causes a shift in the oral environment or a drop in the pH? Eating and drinking. Consider the below example of what happens to the pH in the mouth when you eat or drink:
If the pH drops often enough, and for long enough periods of time the cavity causing bacteria begin to thrive. So, are there things you can do to help keep your oral environment healthy and happy this season? You bet!
Tips to Help Prevent Decay This Holiday Season
To stay on the nice list, here are a few tips for keeping your mouth healthy and cavities at bay.
- Skip the sweet drinks
Drinking anything other than water can lower your pH. Often, holiday beverages like hot cocoa, eggnog, or spirits are full of sugar. Another problem with sweet beverages is our tendency to sip on them for a long period. Every time you sip on the drink, the pH drops, so it’s better to eat or drink something all at once than over a long period.
- Drink water
Water is the best option for your oral environment. It has a neutral pH and will not affect your oral environment negatively. It’s also a great idea to swish your mouth with water if you indulge in a sweet beverage.
- Skip the sticky and hard treats
Candy canes, caramel, and sticky buns are hallmarks of the holiday season. However, these sticky treats can get stuck in hard to clean areas and linger between the teeth. Hard candy can also damage teeth if you try to break or chew them.
- Keep up on your oral health routine
One of the most important things you can do for your oral health this season is brush and floss like your doctor suggests. It’s important to clean out any food that catches between teeth to be sure nothing sticks and decays.
- Have fun!
Have fun this season! It’s all about family and friends, so enjoy yourself while being mindful of making healthy choices for your mouth.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Galleria of Smiles
The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.