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Now that fall is underway and the holidays are gearing up, you can easily get into the swing of things and get carried away with the holiday spirit. And by that, we mean letting down your guard when it comes to your oral health. Today we’d like to remind you of some of the things you should watch out for as you get together with family and friends and co-workers, among other festivities.

#1 SUGAR. Did we even need to mention this? It’s just that this empty-calorie item is top of the list of offerings at festive social gatherings. Nothing speaks “love” like cake, cookies, pies, and muffins. Of course, candy is the hardest on teeth, especially sticky or hard kinds. There is even sugar in chips, which also offer little in the way of nutrition. This sugar clings to your teeth and feeds that bad bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria then produce acids which attack tooth enamel and result in decay.

And food isn’t the only culprit. So many sugary drinks are available to us, and many are taken in throughout the day. This is where the problem lies, the constant bathing of teeth in sugar. Whether you consume soda, juice, lemonade, sweetened tea, and coffee, or sports drinks, they can harm your teeth. It is best to drink these with meals and to drink water in between.

#2 ACIDIC FOODS harm tooth enamel too. Tomatoes, citrus, curries, hot sauces, all of these expose your teeth to acids that wear down tooth enamel. It is best to consume these with meals, instead of by themselves. Even dried fruit clings to your teeth, creating plaque acids. Instead, eat fresh fruit, that causes you to chew which increases saliva. Saliva helps wash away harmful sugars and acids.

As you navigate your way through the holidays, be aware of what you place on your plate and in your mouth. And if you still need your end-of-year dental cleaning, you still have time to see our dentist, Dr. Meredith McClay to clean your smile. Our Creekside Family Dental team in Medford, Oregon is here to help you have a healthy smile all year round! Just call 541-210-9661 today.