A pile of holiday cookies laying on a wooden table

When the holiday season arrives, it typically means that it’s time to indulge in delicious seasonal drinks and treats. But when the new year finally hits and dental checkups resume, it’s common for some patients to find they have developed cavities. Keep reading to find the season’s main challenges to your oral health in Windermere and how to protect it.

The Challenge: Spending More Time at Home Can Disrupt Your Regular Eating Habits

Whether you’re at home or visiting nearby friends and family for the holidays, snacking is something that can be done everywhere! Some people snack out of boredom, and some find it easy to simply give into cravings when treats are just a few steps away. No matter what the reason may be, people typically don’t think to brush their teeth as frequently as they eat.

The Resolution: It can be difficult and time-consuming to brush your teeth every time you eat. But at the very least, try to make sure to brush when you first wake up and to brush and floss before bed at night.

The Challenge: Sweets Are More Accessible

Data from Packaged Facts showed that 54% of consumers bought food as gifts during the Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa holidays. This means that whether it’s holiday cookies or seasonal cakes, sweets are often at your fingertips. Within about 20 minutes of your first bite, the bacteria in the plaque begins to produce acid on the surfaces of your teeth. A study printed in Science Daily showed that acid-induced dental erosion can begin within 30 seconds of exposure!  

The Resolution: Here are a few ways to protect your teeth from cavities while eating your favorite holiday treats:

  • Rinse with and drink plenty of water to help wash away any sugar that may be lingering long after you’ve finished your treats.
  • Chew on Xylitol gum to help reduce cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth.
  • Save your sweets for the end of a meal, rather than snacking on them throughout the day.

The Challenge: Snacking on Leftovers

If you are in the habit of consuming traditional meals during the holidays, it’s very likely that you will have leftovers once the day has passed. This could mean snacking on cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole (with extra marshmallows on top!) and turkey sandwiches for days on end. These items all have copious amounts of sugar (yes, even bagels and multi-grain bread have sugar!).

The Resolution: Avoiding leftovers altogether is not very realistic for most people. So, it may make more sense to choose healthier foods for your holiday meals. Below are a few examples of smile-friendly foods that you may consider adding to your menu this year:

  • Turkey
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Squash
  • Collard greens and Other green leafy veggies
  • Fresh cranberries

These resolutions to seasonal snacking habits can help reduce your risk of cavities and keep your smile bright and healthy. When it’s time to visit your dentist in Windermere in the new year, you can stop worrying so much about cavities and simply focus on the fresh feeling you’ll have after getting your teeth cleaned.

About the Author

The doctors at Windermere Dentistry focus on providing all patients with comprehensive, personalized dental care. Drs. Matthew McKissock and Rupal Thakkar offer a wide range of services including preventive, restorative and cosmetic dentistry. If you find that you have a cavity during your next checkup, Windermere Dentistry can help! Contact the office at (407) 909-1099 or visit the website today to schedule an appointment.

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