Keep Cavities Away This Holiday Season

Some Steps You Can Take

During the holidays sweet treats abound. Whether it’s a box of chocolates at the office or your great aunt’s Christmas baking, sugar is everywhere. Of course, all the extra sweets, along with other dietary changes and disruptions in routine can lead to cavities.

No one wants to start the new year with a new filling.  Read on to find out how to get through the holiday season cavity-free.

What Causes Cavities?

Cavities are holes in the tooth’s enamel caused by plaque which can harden into a substance called tartar.

When you eat sugary or starchy foods and they stick to your teeth, the bacteria in your mouth begin feeding on them. This creates plaque.

If plaque is left on your teeth for too long, the acids it contains wears away at the enamel on your teeth, causing cavities.

Why Cavities Are More Common During The Holidays

There are many lifestyle factors that can lead to cavities. Holidays introduce a few key culprits.

First, sugar. Even though it is delicious, too much refined sugar is bad for the teeth and the body. During the holidays, when sugary treats are part of many people’s traditions, overindulging is common.

The worst offenders are treats like candy or caramel that stick to the teeth. Sweet drinks can also cause cavities. Eggnog, soda, cocktails and dessert wines have a high sugar content.

Frequent snacking is another common aspect of holiday celebrations – with bowls of chips or pretzels set out at parties. Unfortunately, it can also cause cavities.

Constant snacking means you have food particles in your mouth and on your teeth longer. Also, snack foods are usually starchy. Bacteria love to feed on starch.

Holiday season is busy for many people, which means routines can get disrupted. If you’re up late at a party, it can be tempting to skip brushing, flossing or both. Travel can also disrupt routines with long flights, jet lag and forgotten toothbrushes.

How To Make Sure You Don’t Get a Cavity

Luckily, there are many things you can do to make sure your teeth stay healthy over the holidays.

Cutting Down On Sugar

It’s almost impossible to avoid sugary treats completely during holiday season. And what’s life without a little indulgence? But it is possible to cut down.

At parties, look for the veggie tray or opt for higher-protein snacks like cold cuts or nuts. The fibre and water content in vegetables can help you feel full. Protein will also help you feel satisfied and can curb sugar cravings. If you eat more of these foods, you’ll be less likely to reach for the sweet things offered.

Brushing And Flossing

Keep brushing and flossing regularly. This is vital to keep plaque and tartar from forming on your teeth.

Floss once every day and brush at least twice daily. Some people choose to brush after every meal, which is a great way of keeping plaque off your teeth. Brushing also has the added benefit of freshening your breath.

Brush in a circular motion over your teeth and gum line. Aim to brush for at least two minutes each session.

When you floss, be sure to slide the floss over your teeth a few times for optimal plaque removal. And don’t forget to floss (gently) below the gum line.

Oral Health Travel Set

Keeping a small toothbrush, toothpaste and floss in a handy travel kit can be a convenient way to make sure you keep up with your oral hygiene on the go.

They can come in handy if you’re travelling and want to brush your teeth on a long flight, or freshen up after a work luncheon. They also make great stocking stuffers!

Drinking Water

Since sugary drinks can increase the risk of cavities, minimize these beverages and reach for water whenever you can.

Staying hydrated can also help reduce stress levels. Stress itself has been linked to increased cavities. Take breaks from holiday shopping or socializing to take a breather and a few sips of water.

If you can’t stay away from you mom’s home-made fudge or sticky candies like caramel, water can help ensure they don’t stay on your teeth. After you’re finished a treat, consider taking a sip of water, then swishing it around your mouth before swallowing. Your teeth will thank you.

Book Your Post-Holiday Cleaning And Check-Up

A good dental cleaning is instrumental in ensuring plaque and tartar don’t build up on your teeth. If you don’t already have one booked, schedule a cleaning now so you’ll be sure to have an appointment after the holidays.

If you haven’t had your teeth checked recently, Dr. El-Majzoub would be happy to examine them to make sure they’re in good shape. Regular check-ups can also help prevent a dental emergency.


The holidays can be hard on your teeth, but they don’t have to be. By practicing a little moderation, keeping up good oral hygiene, and visiting your dentist’s office regularly, you can keep your teeth healthy and looking their best for all those holiday family photos.