Christmas Time: Job Security for Dentists

While many things are fine in moderation, it helps to eat sweets and other sugary foods with meals or shortly after mealtime. What did Dr. Rob just say? Yes, your dentist has a sweet tooth. And a food tooth. And I’m happy!… LOL. So, why do you want to eat your favorite Christmas treats with meals? Saliva production increases during meals and helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and helps rinse away food particles.

When it comes to picking healthy snacks, many people put dried fruit at the top of the list. But many dried fruits are sticky and sticky foods tend to stay on the teeth longer than other types of food. If you find yourself eating a lot of dried fruits such as cranberries, make sure to rinse with water and brush carefully. Those sticky foods can hide in between your teeth, especially if you don’t floss very well.

‘Tis the season for egg nog, and all the other special combinations that go with it! If you choose to imbibe, try to drink water alongside your drinks. And remember: Too much alcohol can dry out your mouth, and harm other body organs. Remember not to drink and drive.

Some candies are more problematic than others. Hard candies can put your teeth at risk because in addition to being full of sugar, they’ve also been known to cause broken or chipped teeth. Be careful not to break or chip your teeth when eating nuts as well. We tend to do more crowns on teeth due to fracture this time of year. Treats such as peanut brittle, hard candy, and grandma’s home-made candy are nothing but job security for dentists.

If you choose to indulge in chips and cakes, take extra care when you floss that day to remove all the food particles that can lead to plaque build-up.

So, what can you eat? Lots of stuff! Make lean protein choices, such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish and vary your diet. Eat whole grains and choose low-fat or fat-free dairy foods. The holidays are a great time of year to start thinking about healthier habits. If you do snack, make it a nutritious choice—such as cheese, yogurt, fruits, and vegetables—for your overall health and the health of your teeth.

But if you’re normal like me, I hope you enjoy the chocolate gifts as much as I do…just brush and floss thoroughly at least twice a day.

My wife and I pray the Lord’s blessings on all of you, your families, and our service men and women at this time of year.

Merry Christmas!

Dr. Rob