When the holiday season comes around, it's almost inevitable that you'll be surrounded by sweet and sugary snacks of one kind or another. If you have something of a sweet tooth, you may find the temptation a bit much, even if you understand that eating too much of the stuff can have a negative impact on your teeth.
Still, that does not mean you have to feel guilty about it. It does not even mean that you have to completely abstain from the sugary goodness of the holidays.
It just means that you have to be extra dedicated to your dental hygiene routines and may follow some of these guidelines to avoid a potentially bad situation.
Brush More Than Before
If you're eating a lot of sticky, sugary snacks, brushing your teeth regularly even becomes even more important. If you give sticky foods enough time on your teeth, it can really promote the accumulation of plaque.
If this plaque sets up in hard to reach places, you're looking at an historical cavity.
It may seem odd, but if you're snacking on these types of foods and candies throughout the day, you may choose to carry a toothbrush and travel-sized tube of toothpaste with you. You can leave it in your desk or car and make sure your teeth get a good cleaning after you enjoy a snack or two.
Get Plenty of Water
Water serves two purposes here. The first is to naturally rinse some of the lingering sugar out of your mouth. The second is to be used as a rinsing agent. You can actively swim the water around your teeth to help remove food particles and sticky food remnants from your teeth.
Some kind of dental mouthwash may actually be more effective in these situations, and if you have access to it, then go for it. But many people are snacking on these foods while they're away from their dental hygiene supplies. Water, on the other hand, is usually more readily available.
Know Your Snacks
Some snacks have a lower sugar content than others, but still enough to satisfy a sweet tooth. It's also important to note that something things that we know are healthy – like some delicious fruits – may also have a very high sugar content (and stick to our teeth).
Remember, it's not all about sugar, but how long the sugar sticks to your teeth. And if you have less-sticky, less-sugary snacks, you'll be in a better position to avoid those cavities.
Sugar-free gum can help you reduce the risk of cavities even further. It helps in two ways.
The first, the gum can help grab those food particles and pull them off your teeth.
The second, the gum helps produce saliva, which is how your body naturally tries to fight bacteria buildup on your teeth.
For many of us, it can be difficult to give up the sweet snacks that we grow up loving. We know that they might not be the best thing for our teeth, but we'll still make exceptions from time to time. And, really, that's okay. Because as long as you're careful about it, you can still enjoy the occasional snack and avoid some cavities .
So, do not feel guilty about a little snack, but do make sure that you remember to follow these guidelines afterwards.