keep teeth healthy this holiday

keep teeth healthy this holidayMaryville, Alcoa and Knoxville TN

It’s been described as “the most wonderful time of the year” but for many families, the holiday season also is the most hectic time of year. Between the shopping and get-togethers with family, friends, and co-workers, it can be easy to neglect normal parts of your routine. Brushing and flossing your teeth, however, need to remain priorities, so you do not ring in the New Year having to schedule an appointment to have a cavity filled. You also can lower your risk of tooth decay by practicing a little moderation at all those holiday meals and parties.

Cedar Street Family Dentistry assembled these tips to help you keep your teeth healthy during the holidays:

Starchy sides: Stuffing is a traditional side dish during Christmas, but did you know eating too much of it could threaten your dental health? Like any bread-based food, stuffing is broken down into a gummy paste that can accumulate on the surfaces of your teeth. Left to linger in your mouth, this starchy paste is broken down into sugars that feed the bacteria that occur naturally in your mouth. It also is converted into acids that can deteriorate your tooth enamel—the strong outer layer of tooth structure that protects your teeth against decay and injury. If you and your family just love stuffing, enjoy it during your meal, but resist snacking on it throughout the day.

Cranberry sauce: This sweet and tart fruit is another holiday tradition. Many families opt for canned cranberry sauce, and while this certainly is convenient, it also is loaded with sugar and has almost none of the nutrients that make fresh cranberries a “superfood.” Go for fresh cranberries instead, although be aware this fruit in any form is highly acidic, and consuming those acids in high quantities can weaken your tooth enamel.

Candy canes: Another holiday tradition, candy canes are a popular stocking stuffer and are used to decorate Christmas trees. Candy canes also are very bad for your teeth, for three reasons. First, candy canes are packed with sugar. Second, candy canes are sticky, so those sugars have a greater chance of adhering to and building on the surfaces of your teeth. Third, candy canes are hard; biting down on one could chip a tooth or damage existing dental work. We recommend switching out the candy canes for a pack of sugar-free peppermint gum, which will stimulate the production of saliva in the mouth.

General dentistry services in Maryville

If you want to be sure your mouth is in tip-top condition heading into the New Year, remember to schedule your second dental checkup and cleaning at Cedar Street Family Dentistry. Your Maryville family dentist Dr. Ben Sentell can conduct a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, and mouth to make sure no problems are developing. And one of our compassionate and highly trained dental hygienists can thoroughly clean your teeth, removing any mineralized areas of plaque that may have developed. Cedar Street Family Dentistry also offers a wide array of preventive care services, detecting problems in their early stages and then providing treatment.

To learn more about our services, call (865) 233-7640 to make an appointment.

Cedar Street Family Dentistry is proud to serve patients in the areas of Alcoa, Knoxville, and Maryville in Tennessee.