Julie Seager is the Western Regional Education Manager for Xlear, Inc., and a practicing dental hygienist in Northern California. Julie actively studies advances in minimally invasive dentistry so she can relay the latest research and practical applications to other health care providers. The importance of airway health and nasal breathing is her passion and the focus of her continuing education each year. Julie is a key opinion leader in her field and has had the opportunity to present courses across the United States, write for various publications, and be interviewed for podcasts, social media reels, and radio and television features.
Embracing the holiday spirit often means indulging in delightful treats that bring joy to our hearts and warmth to our gatherings. While we cherish these moments, it is essential to weave in practices that prioritize the natural health of our smiles, ensuring they stay vibrant throughout the celebrations.
In the midst of the holiday festivities, sugary delights abound, tempting us with their decadent allure. From decadent candies and cookies to festive beverages, our teeth are exposed to an increased intake of sugars. Finding the right balance between savoring these treats and safeguarding our dental health is key.
While regular brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash are fundamental practices which help remove plaque and prevent bacterial growth, our busy holiday schedules can sometimes disrupt these routines. Enter xylitol, a natural sweetener that effortlessly cleans and revitalizes our mouths and freshens our breath between meals and snacks. In just a few minutes, chewing xylitol gum or enjoying xylitol mints can provide effective cleansing when our usual dental care routines are momentarily set aside (1).
Xylitol emerges as a hero in our quest for holiday dental care. Unlike traditional sugars, xylitol does not contribute to cavities; instead, it inhibits the growth of acid-producing bacteria responsible for tooth decay (2). Incorporating xylitol into holiday treats and snacks becomes a sweet solution to promote oral health naturally.
Incorporating xylitol into your holiday recipes, instead of table sugar, is a simple switch that does not compromise on taste or dental health. Whether it is cookies, desserts, or beverages, you can enjoy your favorite holiday treats with a little less guilt. Xylitol is safe for diabetics, pregnant women, and those aiming to cut carbs in the holiday diets (6). You can easily find delicious recipes that replace xylitol for table sugar on online platforms like Food.com or downloadable recipe books like The Gentleman's Bistro Cookbook.
Regular dental check-ups, especially during the holiday season, remain paramount. Schedule dental visits for the kids during winter break or when they are home from college. For those with dental insurance this is a great time to utilize the remaining benefits with a scheduled dental visit.
As we celebrate the holidays, let us remember to prioritize the well-being of our smiles. By incorporating xylitol into our festive treats and adhering to essential oral hygiene practices, we can gift ourselves and our loved ones with the joy of radiant smiles throughout the season. Remember, a healthy smile is the most cherished gift you can give. Wishing you a season filled with happy holidays and even happier smiles!
Note: We do not recommend dog owners give their dogs xylitol or any other food designated for human consumption.
NOTE: WholeFoods Magazine is a business-to-business publication. Information on this site should not be considered medical advice or a way to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. Always seek the advice of a medical professional before making lifestyle changes, including taking a dietary supplement. The opinions expressed by contributors and experts quoted in articles are not necessarily those of the publisher or editors of WholeFoods.