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With fall in the air, the holidays are finally here. But with them comes all the delicious treats we wait for all year round. Unfortunately, many of them are bad for our teeth, and if you have them once in a while, you aren’t wreaking havoc, but having them for months during this season can invite tooth decay. To enjoy the celebrations with family, friends, co-workers, and others, take a moment to consider how to protect your smile in the process.

You probably already know that sugar is hardest on your teeth. This empty calorie additive is concentrated in those beautiful cakes, candies, cookies, pies, and muffins on many tables this time of year. Perhaps most culpable are those hard, or sticky candies offered during the holidays. And that’s not all. Even chips, another empty-calorie party food has sugars which stick to your pearly whites and feed harmful oral bacteria.This bacteria then release acids that erode tooth enamel erosion and invite decay.

And it’s not just in food, sugary drinks are more common than ever. But when they are sipped throughout the day instead of with meals, this constant sugar bath will attack your teeth. Hot chocolate, teas, coffees, sodas, juices, lemonade all expose you to tooth decay if they are consumed throughout the day. Instead, enjoy them with meals and drink water the rest of the day. Your teeth will thank you.

Tomatoey sauces, citrus fruits, warming curries and hot sauces are tasty but the acid in them wear down tooth enamel. Consume that infrequently or with meals to lessen contact on teeth.

After meals, brush and floss to remove harmful bacteria and food particles to keep your smile safe. Drink plenty of water to keep your saliva levels high, and see your dentist every six months.

We wish you safe travels this holiday season as you enjoy the festivities. Protect your smile with an end-of-year dental cleaning, by calling 941-462-4659. Our dentists, Dr. Shelly Galvin or Dr. Kritika Thomas at Oneco Dental Care in Sarasota, Florida look forward to helping your smile shine all year round!