-- Robert Preidt
SATURDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The busy holiday season
may disrupt many people's daily routines, but at this time of year
it is especially important to remember to look after your teeth, an
"Holiday get-togethers tend to lead people to consume sugary treats and drink alcoholic beverages more than usual," Dr. George Shepley, spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry, said in an academy news release.
"Additionally, with their busy schedules and increased stress levels, I've noticed that my patients' oral hygiene suffers. They forget the most basic of oral hygiene tasks that can counteract the effects of sugary snacks and drinks," he pointed out.
Shepley offers suggestions on a number of ways to protect your
teeth during the holiday season.
To reduce the risk of damage from drinking red and white wines,
which are highly acidic and can eat away at a tooth's enamel,
refrain from swishing wine around in your mouth and drink water
between glasses of wine to rinse acid from your teeth.
And, while holiday goodies such as cookies, chocolate and candy
canes are tempting, the sugar in them promotes the growth of
cavity-causing bacteria. If you can't brush or floss after eating
sweet treats, drink water or chew a piece of sugarless gum, which
will increased saliva flow and help wash away the bacteria.
Finally, Shepley pointed out, holiday stress can cause some
people to grind or clench their teeth, potentially resulting in
chipped teeth, jaw pain and headaches.
"Finding ways to alleviate your anxiety can help, but it's also important to see your dentist, who can recommend solutions like a custom night guard," Shepley said. "Wearing one at night will prevent you from taking out the holiday stress on your teeth while you sleep."
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about keeping
teeth and mouth healthy.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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