Keeping Your Smile Healthy at Holiday Parties

The holiday season is upon us, and with this jolly time of year comes parties outfitted with plenty of good food and holiday-themed drinks. While it’s easy to indulge during this merry time, it’s important not to let your usual dental care slip.

Whether you are attending family gatherings or holiday work parties, the temptation of holiday candies, copious amounts of festive drinks, and plenty of pie will be present. All of these amazingly tasty holiday foods and drinks can wreak havoc on your teeth. Remember to take extra precaution on your dental health during the holiday season.


Party Food

First, let’s talk food. Your aunt’s pecan pie recipe might be the best-kept family secret, but the amount of sugar she puts in it is no mystery.

The sugar in your favorite desert serves as a food source for not only you but also for the bacteria living in your mouth. Bacteria uses sugar to create acid and form plaque, which erodes tooth enamel and causes painful cavities.

When attending holiday parties, keep in mind the risk of cavities as the gingerbread men and hard candies surround you. Avoid chewy or hard candy that can stick to teeth and even ruin fillings.

Is your self-control somewhat lacking when it comes to your sweet tooth? While not indulging on an excess of sugar is the best way to avoid cavities, there are a few precautions you can take after the deed is already done. Drink lots of water to help wash out the sugar collected in your mouth from those holiday sweets and brush often to help prevent cavities.

Holiday Drinks

Holiday parties aren’t complete without the perfect winter drink. Whether that’s coffee, cider, eggnog, or a deep red wine, it’s important to remember the toll that these drinks can have on your pearly whites.

First, drinks like tea and coffee are immense culprits of teeth staining. These acidic drinks are bad for your enamel, breaking it down and allowing stains to stick to and color your teeth. Sticking to lighter color teas and coffees, adding milk to your drinks, and drinking in moderation can help reduce your risk of stains.

Beverages like eggnog, hot chocolate, and even alcohol contain a lot of sugar. Just like with sweets, this sugar is the perfect food source for the bacteria in your mouth, leading to the erosion of tooth enamel, the creation of plaque, and the formation of cavities. Drink water between sweet drinks to help wash out the sugar building in your mouth. Also, opt for dryer wines and champagnes to lower your sugar intake.

Alcoholic drinks can also lead to the decrease of saliva flow, leading to dehydration in your mouth. When this happens, the bacteria in your mouth are not naturally washed away with saliva but cling to the enamel, leading to decay. To counteract this, alternate between drinking alcohol and water. You can also chew sugar-free gum to increase saliva production.

Keeping up with your busy holiday schedule can be quite exhausting. When jumping from party to party, it’s important to keep up with your normal dental routine. Your diet will change thanks to the party food, so brush and floss often to keep your teeth shining brightly. Use these tips to keep your smile healthy during all your holiday activities.