The American Dental Association (ADA) today released tips for keeping tooth decay at bay during the holiday season. “Sweet treats are everywhere during the holidays, from your office party to baking cookies in your own kitchen,” said Alice G. Boghosian, D.D.S., ADA spokesperson. “The key is to practice moderation and make healthy choices when you can. And don’t forget to brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth every day!”
The following tips will help keep teeth in tip-top shape for the holidays and beyond:
- Put down the brittle – Hard foods like peanut brittle and sticky foods like dried fruit wreak havoc on our teeth. Opt for less hard and sticky options like chocolate which rinses off more easily.
- Limit your carbs – Starchy foods like sweet potato casserole tend to get stuck between our teeth which could result in plaque buildup. Be sure to clean between your teeth daily to remove any unwanted food that is left behind.
- Cheers! – Decadent holiday drinks abound at holiday events, but super sugary cocktails like egg nog can dry out your mouth. If you choose to raise a glass, be sure to follow it with a glass of water to help rinse away sugar.
- Pucker up – A squeeze of lemon may make a cup of tea more refreshing, but too much citrus can erode enamel. A better choice would be milk as it may benefit tooth health thanks to high amounts of calcium and other nutrients.
- Reach for the scissors – Teeth are not made for opening presents and can be cracked if used as a stand-in for scissors. Rather than chewing through a hard-to-untie ribbon, grab something to help you cut it.
More holiday resources can be found on MouthHealthyKids.org, including tips from Hermey the Elf, D.D.G. (Dental Do Gooder), well known for his adventures with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.