Reno Dentists on Holiday Treats and Your Teeth
Posted December 5, 2012 by Wager-Evans Dental
Every year, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, Americans consume a lot of food. Just two weeks ago, on Thanksgiving, for example, we collectively ate nearly 700 pounds of turkey. The overeating will continue through holiday parties, Christmas and Hannakah dinners, and New Year football snacking. While it’s important to remember what all those extra calories are doing to your waistline, it’s equally important to remember what all that extra sugar and starch is doing to your teeth. Your Reno dentists discuss what you should do to ensure having a healthy mouth into 2013.
Sugar and Your Teeth
One of the primary ingredients of a lot of that extra food this time of year is sugar. Between Christmas cookies, fudge, pies, cakes, and egg nog, we tend to eat and drink many more sweet treats than we do during the rest of the year. Unfortunately, all that extra sugar can play havoc on your teeth. The sugar by itself won’t do any harm. However, it does happen to be a treat to the harmful bacteria that naturally grows in your mouth. Once the bacteria begin feeding on all that extra sugar that is sticking to your teeth, they begin producing acid by-products. Left alone, that acid will destroy enamel and cause tooth decay.
Many of those sugary foods are also high in starch. Unfortunately, starch can be just as bad as sugar for your teeth. The bacteria also love feeding on starch and will produce that destructive acid after consuming it. Without the proper care, that cookie could be a dangerous one-two punch on your oral health.
Only a Scrooge would suggest not eating any treats this season, but it is important to consume those foods in moderation. Also try some delicious alternatives that might actually help your teeth stay clean. Cranberries, pumpkins, celery, and parsley are all natural ways to help clean the mouth and keep your teeth healthy. Most important of all is to make sure not to neglect your usual oral care routine during the holidays. Make sure that you continue to brush your teeth twice a day and to floss once a day. If you do eat a lot of sugary treats, it might even be a good idea to ramp up your oral hygiene practices.
If you want to make sure you start the New Year off right in regards to oral health, contact our Reno dentist office at 775-829-7700 for an appointment. Dr. Wager and Dr. Evans provide comprehensive dentistry to patients in the 89502 zip code, and surrounding neighborhoods.