Healthy Smiles Premier Dental
ike New Year’s resolutions, plans are hard to stick to when you vow to eat healthier while avoiding the temptation to indulge over the holidays.
The good news is that taking small steps now can be surprisingly effective at allowing you to show up at meals and parties with family and friends with a gleaming and healthy smile and keep it that way. You don’t have to seem like Scrooge when it comes to having fun while staying on a good diet.
It Starts with Good Diet Practices
For you, your partner, and kids it starts with understanding how to avoid the pain of cavities and even losing teeth if too much junk food and sugary drinks are consumed. They don’t have to go cold turkey (Thanksgiving included) if you educate them on why they will end up regretting bad choices.
Cane sugar and its cousins (sucrose, glucose, sucrose, raw or brown sugar, dextrose, glucose, fructose, corn syrup, etc.) stick to the teeth and unless one brushes and flosses right away, these will attract bacteria and form a filmy substances called plaque. This can ultimately cause cavities and gum disease. There are lots of alternative sweets and sweeteners now available, so read labels or volunteer to bring the desserts or eggnog.
Minimizing Food Cravings
Another reason to cut back on sugary snacks and beverages is they cause a temporary spike in energy, then a crash and craving for more. Include more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds, nuts, beans, peas, proteins, and “good fats” in your diet now and you will keep your blood sugar steady so there is not only less desire for sweets, but food overall, which means a potential to lose weight.
Make sure you and yours are also brushing after breakfast or lunch and dinner for two full minutes and flossing thoroughly after your last snack. And if you are planning to travel, bring along a full oral care kit and stick to your regimen.
Drink Plenty of Water
Encourage everyone in your pack to make a habit of drinking plenty of water and chewing sugar-free gum (especially with the cavity-fighting Xylitol), since these help prevent the mouth from becoming dry (saliva helps fight periodontal bacteria).
If you are a bit embarrassed about how coffee, tea, and red wine have discolored your teeth, have them professionally whitened in our office before the holiday festivities (those OTC whiteners take too long to produce noticeable results).
Finally, with all the visiting, you may forget that when you take off your coat or open packages or bottles, don’t use your teeth, since this can damage them and your dental work.