Monday, October 29, 2012

Holiday Dental Hygiene for You and your Kids

Love the food that comes with the holidays? Can’t wait to dig into your first slice of cherry pie or take that first sip of hot cocoa, this holiday season? Before you go all out and eat a slice while drinking that warm beverage, check our food and beverages that made the Holiday Teeth-Staining List from this Raleigh Dentist.  

Take a look at this list, as you’ll be surprised at which foods can cause serious discoloration despite their nutritious appeal. 

Holiday Teeth-Staining Foods:

1.   Blueberries: Packed with antioxidants, these tiny berries are part of nature’s superfoods. However, there dark blue skin is known to stain teeth.  That shouldn’t sway you from leaving them alone though, just keep a glass of water handy to swirl the aftereffects away.  Also keep in mind, that blueberries aren’t the only deeply pigmented berry-like fruit out there.  Cherries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries and pomegranates can cause the same amount of damage.

2.   Hot Cocoa: A delicious winter drink typically accompanied by marshmallows and whip cream while sitting by a fire.  Just don’t drink too many.  Drinking hot beverages tend to open up the pores in your teeth, allowing for those dark liquids to degenerate your teeth enamel opening them up for permanent stains.

3.   Red Wine: Red wine, known for its heart health benefits, is full of polyphenols that prevent damage to the gums and bone surrounding the teeth.  Yet, it’s those same polyphenols that cause teeth staining.  The alcohol in red wine is extremely acidic, which wears away the tooth enamel leaving them open for stains. And don’t brush your teeth right after drinking red wine either.  You can actually scratch the enamel off that way too.

4.   Balsamic Vinegar:  This deeply colored vinegar tends to cling to teeth and cause discoloration.  However, if you drizzle it over salads you’ll be protecting your teeth and eating healthy.  Lettuce creates a film over your teeth that acts like a barrier to shield your teeth from stains.  If you’re not big on eating greens, you can always switch to a lighter colored vinegar.  

While you may not be able to avoid all of these foods during the holidays, you can adapt your dental hygiene practices to your busy holiday schedule:

  • Carry a traveling toothbrush and toothpaste with you for when you are going to a holiday party, that way you can brush away any possible stain potentials and maintain fresh breath.
  • Make sure you have enough toothpaste and floss to make it through the evening should you have to spend the night. 
  • Don’t delay in brushing and flossing, even if you are out at a dinner party.  The longer between brushes, the more time stains can sink into your teeth causing permanent discoloration.
  • Most dental offices close over the holidays.  Call up your dentist and ask who you can call should you have a dental emergency.
Always be sure to ask your dentist what other preventive dental measures you can take during the holidays.  They care about your teeth just as much as you do.   
About our Guest Author:
Rebecca Schmorr is the Owner and head Dentist of Glenwood Smiles, a Raleigh, NC based dentistry.  Their services include cosmetic and family dentistry, as well as specializing in dental procedures including oral dentation, root canal therapy, and composite fillings.  For more information about their services give them a call today at 919-834-4450 or visit them online at