Want to avoid the need for a dentist in North Dallas this holiday season? You can tilt the odds in your favor by brushing and flossing regularly, limiting your sugar and starch intake, and taking some dental supplies with you when you travel.
How to Snack Smart
Right now, as you read these words, there’s a war going on inside your mouth. Decay-causing bacteria are trying to find a way into your teeth and gums. Your body, for its part, is doing its best to fight off these microscopic invaders.
This battle goes on 24 hours a day, seven days a week, throughout your life. Fortunately, the human immune system is pretty good at repelling attackers. But it needs your help. You can lend a hand by limiting your consumption of sweets and simple starches. Harmful bacteria use these substances as the raw fuel they need to keep going. Depriving them of a meal is one of the smartest things you can do for your teeth and gums.
Why Brushing and Flossing are so Important
You can eat a nutritious, well-rounded diet and still end up with a nasty toothache if you fail to brush and floss on a regular basis. That’s because of a substance called plaque that builds up on your teeth after every meal. Plaque gives safe harbor to cavity-causing germs.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do on your own to remove plaque entirely. But you can keep it under control through brushing and flossing. Most dentists recommend that patients use a soft bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. You should brush at least twice a day, after each meal if possible.
Even the most diligent brushing cannot remove the plaque between your teeth. That’s why flossing is so crucial. Move the floss string in an up-and-down motion, instead of just back-and-forth. Use a new section of string for each tooth and dispose of the old floss when you’re done.
Pack for the Trip With Your Teeth in Mind
Most of us will be doing a little traveling during the holiday season. While you’re preparing for the trip, be sure to bring along the following supplies:
- A travel-sized tube of toothpaste and a spare toothbrush. A small bottle of dental rinse or mouthwash is another good idea.
- A few sample-sized packages of pain reliever. This is handy for those times when you’re plagued by a toothache.
- Contact information for your dentist, in case you need emergency care.
- A few sugar-free snacks to help you keep temptation at bay. A piece of sugar-free hard candy can act as an emergency tooth filling.
- A package of dental floss. Besides being useful for flossing, it can also help you to remove objects that cause discomfort by getting stuck between your teeth.
The holidays are a time for savoring life’s simple pleasures, not for suffering with tooth pain. Use the tips in this post to keep you feeling your best as you form happy memories in the days ahead.
About the Author
John A. Grinaldi is a skilled general and cosmetic dentist with more than two decades of experience under his belt. He’s a proud member of the American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry. You can reach his office online or by calling (972) 437-4746.