5 Ways to Guard Your Grin this Season
Holiday parties can be great fun. But before you take off your shoes and dance on the table, take a moment to remember these 5 ways to keep your teeth in tip-top shape while enjoying the party. Beware of drinks and foods that stain your teeth: Red wine is especially hard on teeth because it contains tannins, molecules with a powerful pigment that stains easily. Love cherries and blueberries? The pigments in dark fruits also stick to tooth enamel, causing stains. To avoid staining your teeth, choose fruits with less pigment, like grapes or white cranberries. Take your hand out of the cookie jar: The sugar in sweet treats feeds bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria form acids, which attack tooth enamel, leading to cavities. If you don’t have time to brush and floss after eating, drink some water or chew sugarless gum to help produce saliva which can wash away the bacteria in your mouth. Be careful of candy:Who knew candy canes could be dangerous? Enamel, the hard covering of your tooth, can weaken, putting your teeth at risk for cracking and chipping. Avoid biting hard candy canes or other candies – you might crack a tooth! Sweets that stick to your teeth like toffee or peanut brittle can loosen or even pull out fillings or crowns. Avoid using your teeth as tools: Don’t attack the ribbon, tag or string with your teeth. Use scissors, or you may find yourself in your dentist’s office with a broken tooth. Manage your stress: Relax and enjoy the moment with friends and family. Stress can lead to bruxism, the grinding or clenching of teeth. You might end up with jaw and facial pain. Follow these simple steps, and you can be the life of the party and have healthy teeth too!