Welcome to the holiday season! As you go about your festive activities, don’t forget to take care of your mouth! Here are some good ways to do that.
Drink Water: Accompany all sweet dishes and meals with a tall glass of water. This helps rinse your mouth and clean sugars away from teeth and gums. It also helps keep you satiated, and contributes to your overall body health.
Mouthwash: Consider adding an over-the-counter therapeutic mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine for the holiday. Therapeutic mouthwashes are those that actually kill bacteria and contribute to mouth health, rather than simply freshening breath. Though not a ADA-required part of an oral hygiene routine, many mouthwashes can be very helpful. Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance on the label.
Chew Gum: After eating or drinking sugary foods, chew a piece of sugar-free gum for about 20 minutes. This also applies to acidic foods. After you eat, your teeth are much more sensitive to abrasion, and both the act of brushing and toothpaste itself are abrasive to tooth enamel. So, brushing right after eating is not always a good idea (unless directed to do so by your dentist). Chewing gum cleans your teeth in the meantime.
Adequate Sleep: Not getting good sleep can affect your whole body, even your mouth! If you are not well-rested, this can lead to biological stress on your body. This can lead to clenching and grinding your teeth, whether at night or in the daytime, and can exacerbate existing temporomandibular joint disorders.