We wish all our patients at Bayberry Dental Care in Tinley Park a Happy Thanksgiving! At this time of year, there are many sweets and feasts to look forward to. But that doesn’t mean tooth decay takes a break, so to help our patients have a good holiday season, we wanted to provide some tips on oral hygiene.
As we discussed in our post about baby bottle tooth decay, sugary residue poses more of a threat to teeth than the sugar content of any specific food. A lot of the sugary drinks that are popular this time of year—pumpkin spice lattes, eggnog, hot chocolate, apple cider, and alcoholic beverages, are drunk slowly, allowing residue to cling to the teeth for a long time. People also consume more hard candies, which tend to dry the mouth out in addition to sticking to teeth and to eat sticky toffees. But even complex starches, such as those found in winter squash, can fuel tooth decay if debris gets caught in hard-to-reach spaces.
The best way to maintain oral hygiene is regular brushing and flossing, but this may not always be easy during family or social gatherings. Another strategy is to chew sugar-free gum, which will dislodge food particles and stimulate saliva production. You may also try keeping bottles of fluoridated water on hand. Taking swigs from them in between consuming other drinks will wash away sugar and strengthen your enamel.
Kathleen M. Falsey, D.D.S., operates Bayberry Dental Care at 8014 West 171st St, Tinley Park, Illinois, 60477. To schedule an appointment, call 708-802-8300 or visit Bayberry Dental Care and fill out a contact sheet.