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Tips to keep your smile merry and bright

Dentists across Ontario hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season, and are gifting you with helpful dental tips to keep it a merry time for your mouth.

Whether you're staying in with family and friends, or heading out to parties between now and New Year's, the Ontario Dental Association (ODA) wants you to enjoy the festivities while keeping these four “S”s in mind.

  • Sugar

The holidays are a minefield of sweets that include candy canes, which aren't just pure sugar, they also can chip and crack your teeth.

Eggnog, cider, pop, cookies, chocolates, and caramels also are loaded with sugar, so swish with water after drinking and eating these to wash away the residue.

  • Starches

Many of us love mashed potatoes, stuffing, bread ,and crackers, but all of these can get stuck in your teeth.

They may not be sweet but these starches break down into sugars, which cause cavities.

  • Spirits

Alcohol is no friend to your mouth. Wine is sugary and high in acid, plus red wine can stain teeth.

Champagne and beer have high carbonation, which also can erode tooth enamel, while many mixed drinks have lots of sugar and carbonation in them, as well.

Some people like to chew on the ice cubes in their beverages and that too, can crack your teeth.

  • Stress

This isn't a fun and magical time of year for everyone and because of that, it's important to pay attention to stress levels.

Along with feeling terrible, anxiety can lead to over-indulging, loss of sleep, a sluggish immune system, and teeth grinding, which causes pain and, over time, can lead to tooth loss.

ODA President Dr. David Stevenson says, “Of course you can enjoy your sweet and savoury delights over the holidays,” said ODA president Dr. David Stevenson.

“Just be sure to brush twice a day, floss daily—especially after turkey dinner—and have tooth-friendly snacks like cheese, fresh veggies, and nuts to balance out all the rich treats,” he noted.

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