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Autumn is here and it’s time to enjoy the ensuing festivities. While you are celebrating all the tasty treats that come this time of year, we invite you to be mindful of your smile as well. Your teeth will be exposed repeatedly to the kinds of goodies we wait for all year. Pumpkin and pecan pies, candy canes, muffins, holiday cakes, eggnog, hot chocolate and mulled ciders, it’s an exciting time for our tastebuds!

While celebrating with friends and family, please be aware of the effect on your teeth. To help, we are providing some tips so you can enjoy the gifts of the season without sacrificing your smile. Let’s take a look:

Sugar; consuming this empty-calorie item tops our list of things to watch out for. Limit consumption of these items, and when you do, have them will meals or proteins like cheese or nuts to help lessen their harmful effects on the teeth. Even chips have the kinds of sugar in them that stick to your teeth. This then feeds the harmful bacteria in the mouth which in turn releases acids that erode your tooth enamel and make your teeth vulnerable to cavities.

Of course, this time of year with the change in weather, you may be having more sweetened drinks than ever. But the key to enjoying them without bathing your teeth in a sugar bath all day is to consume them with meals instead of sipping constantly. Substitute water for sipping, which also activates healthy levels of saliva to wash acids off the teeth.

Spicy sauces with tomatoes or citrus, warming curries, and even hot sauce all have acids that erode tooth enamel. Have these infrequently or with meals.

Remember to clean your smile after every meal and floss at least once a day to clear out harmful bacteria and oral debris. For those times you can’t brush after eating or drinking, rinse well with water and chew sugar-free gum for 20 minutes to help reduce acids. Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water to promote saliva production, and see your dentist for your end-of-year six-month cleaning.

We hope you enjoy this holiday season while protecting your smile. If you have any questions, please call 317-462-1252 today. Our dentist, Dr. Edward Garry at Greenfield Family Dentistry in Greenfield, Indiana looks forward to keeping your smile healthy all year round!