Promote Your Oral Health for the Holidays!

Your oral cavity is just waiting to savor all of the treats that are so enjoyed over the holiday season. Pies, cakes and sweetening pastries are just some of the favorites that most people look forward to over the holidays. Just as people are ready to enjoy such treats, so are bacterial microbes in our mouths, such as S. mutans that indulge in sugar to deliver sticky, white plaque with the aid of glucans and acid that tantalize the enamel on your teeth. Add to this holiday starch carbohydrates that boost glucan related activity five-fold, harder stickier plaque that produces even more acidic results. But, oral health remedies can step in to allow you to enjoy your treats, while preserving the health of your mouth. Check out our oral health tips for the holiday season, but first learn a bit about research that may be a great present in future years.

The good news is that researchers have uncovered that cranberries and red wine ferments contain compounds that are known to inhibit bacteria used to create glucans that would otherwise allow for the production of plaque and acid.

In fact, researchers at the Philip E. Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension at Rutgers University believe that isolating these compounds will help to prevent tooth decay. They already have in rats. Researchers found that a group of molecules known as A-type proanthocyanidins in cranberries can inhibit the growth of plaque and acid.  The results of the study are promising. Following the application of the isolated compound on a group of rats, glucan and acid production caused by S. mutans was impeded by up to 70% and cavities were reduced by up to 45%.

In a separate study funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, researchers discovered that the leftovers of red wine production, such as fermented seeds and skin, contain polyphenols that can impede S. mutans’ enzymes by roughly 85%, while limiting the extent of acid that bacteria are able to produce. So, one day you may have these helpful ingredients added to your toothpaste.

In the meantime, you’ll want to participate in the traditional ways to protect your oral health for the holidays.

Your Holiday Oral Hygiene Routine!

Schedule an appointment with your dentist for a professional dental cleaning.  Professional dental cleanings allow for deep cleaning of your teeth to remove plaque that your toothbrush is not able to get to. This is particularly important with all of the plaque triggering starch and sugar eaten over the holidays.

After eating holiday meals and snacks that are starchy or sugary, brush your teeth, floss between your teeth and use mouthwash.

If you are interested in general dentistry or cosmetic dentistry, contact Dr. Mark Sweeney, an Austin Texas cosmetic dentist, for a consultation at 512-380-1300.