Happy St. Patrick's Day! (And How to Avoid Any Holiday Damage to Your Teeth)

st-patricks-day-green-beer-lg.jpgHappy St. Patrick's Day!

On March 17th we will all be busting out the green shamrocks out again to celebrate St. Patrick with parties, parades and green treats. You may be planning a party of your own or an outing to celebrate the holiday, so we wanted to make sure that you consider your dental health during your St. Paddy's preparations.

Could a St. Patrick's Day party actually damage your teeth? The answer: YES!

We all love to treat ourselves during any holiday, but a heavy dose of artificial food coloring combined with heavy sugars can be harsh on your teeth, and those two things are often quite present in St. Paddy's day treats. Here are some tips to consider this March to make sure you don't spoil that smile!

 1. Avoid green food coloring.  In honor of St. Patrick's Day, many people participate in the "wearing of the green". This usually means adorning green clothes, but it also sometimes includes adding green food coloring to party treats to make green cookies, cakes, frostings and best of all, green drinks. These look festive, but adding artificial food coloring to your food can really damage your teeth. This is especially important if you have recently had your teeth whitened.  Directly after bleaching, your teeth are more susceptible to staining. Overall, as much as you can- stay away from the green goods so that you don't end up with a green tint to your smile!

2. Go for natural green foods. Avoiding artificially colored green foods doesn't mean you can't have an array of green dishes to celebrate with a beautiful emerald spread. Consider naturally green foods instead when you plan your festive menu. Decorate the top of your cake with white icing and freshly sliced kiwi, top cheese and crackers with green grapes, or make the never-failing green guacamole for a party dip.  These will be just as green, just as beautiful and much healthier for your teeth. BONUS! Doing this will also help balance your food intake, making sure you get protein and vegetables in addition to carbohydrates. If you can't resist adding some color, not to worry! Just use limited amounts and be sure to brush your teeth after eating/drinking. 

3. Consider drinking a darker beer. Dark-colored beers cannot be dyed to look green, hence eliminating the problem of green food coloring staining your pearly whites.  St. Patrick's Day traditionally warrants an extra brushing before bed to be sure that the sugar from your libations is all the way off of your teeth before hitting the pillow at night. Many people will be drinking green colored beer on St. Patrick's Day that has been colored with food dye. To thoroughly wash off the effects, try sipping water between each beer. Your teeth will certainly thank you for it! As with any holiday, it is especially important to brush and floss. Tooth decay is a large problem caused by the sugars found in beer/alcohol.  Overall, HAVE FUN, and remember to take great care of your dazzling smile!

 

| March 17, 2017 |

Holiday Tooth Care

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About the Author: Dr. Patel

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