The Holiday Season is fast approaching, bringing with it feasts, family, and friends. During this time, how you care for your teeth can have a lasting impact on year-round oral health and beauty, making it important that you consider both at-home and professional care even during these busier times of celebration.
The Thing About Sweets
Sugar doesn’t actually damage your teeth. Before you go overboard on the candy, however, bear in mind that the bacteria that eats sugar do damage teeth, sometimes irreparably.
Acids secreted by sugar-loving bacteria can quickly erode enamel. This is made worse when the sugar in question was delivered through sticky sweets that can become hard to remove or sour treats that work to soften enamel with their own acid content. Left unattended and this increases risks for tooth decay and infection as well as heightened risks for gum disease.
It’s not all gloom and doom when it comes to sweets this Holiday Season.
You can absolutely enjoy treats during the holidays without damaging your teeth, providing you take extra care to protect and strengthen your teeth as well.
Floss, Brush, Repeat
The easiest way to protect your teeth during times of increased sugar consumption is proper at-home care. This means:
- Flossing before you brush your teeth
- Brushing within 30-minutes of consuming sweets
- Using a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Brushing teeth with a fluoride toothpaste for at least 2 minutes each time
If you have eaten something acidic, it is best to wait the full 30 minutes before brushing your teeth to help protect enamel. These steps will be very effective at removing plaque, bacteria, and food particles from the mouth to help prevent decay and infection.
Brushing should be completed after every meal and snack as well as when you wake up and before you go to bed. Flossing should be done before you brush in the morning and at night, as well as any time you have consumed sticky or sweet foods. This can help prevent tartar build up below the gum line and work towards reducing your risks for gum disease.
Don’t Forget Professional Care
In addition to your daily routine, biannual visits with Oradell family dentist Dr. Howard Perlmutter are a great way to keep your teeth healthy and strong. These visits allow us to remove plaque and bacteria from all surface areas of the teeth and to check for early signs of decay or infection. Caught early on and these issues are typically quick and easy to treat. Left undetected, however, and they can have profound consequences including tooth loss, bone necrosis, and increased risks for heart attack and other serious illnesses.
We recommend visiting every six months for optimal oral health. If it has been longer since your last visit, get in touch today to schedule your next appointment.
If you have an FSA or HSA, now is a great time to schedule a visit. Using your plan, we can provide treatments that are not covered by insurance to protect and perfect your smile for years to come. But act fast. Most FSA and HSA plans expire on December 31st, taking all unused money with them.
Flex benefits or no, Dr. Perlmutter encourages you to contact our office if it has been longer than six months since your last visit. During your next appointment, we can discuss how best to protect your teeth during the holidays and beyond, and help you achieve the peak oral health you deserve.
To schedule a cleaning and examination with Dr. Perlmutter, please call Oradell Family Dental at 201-384-9292 today.