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Give Yourself the Gift of Good Oral Health this Holiday Season

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While the weather outside is frightful, keep your teeth delightful

CHICAGO, Dec. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 'Tis the season for giving, but remember to give yourself the most important gift of all this holiday season: a healthy smile! Maintaining good oral hygiene during the holiday season is more important than ever, advises the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

"Holiday get-togethers tend to lead people to consume sugary treats and drink alcoholic beverages more than usual," says AGD spokesperson George Shepley, DDS, MAGD. "Additionally, with their busy schedules and increased stress levels, I've noticed that my patients' oral hygiene suffers. They forget the most basic of oral hygiene tasks that can counteract the effects of sugary snacks and drinks."

If all you want this holiday season is to keep your two front teeth, or all of your teeth for that matter, then check out Dr. Shepley's tips on how to save your smile.                                          

Wine
Whether red or white, the high acidity levels in wine can eat away at a tooth's enamel. Tooth enamel is critical in the protection against decay and cavities. To avoid damage, refrain from swishing the wine around in your mouth, and drink water in between beverages to rinse the teeth of the acid. Cheers!

Sugary Treats
Bacteria in the mouth thrive on the sugars found in candy canes, chocolate, and gingerbread cookies, increasing the likelihood of developing cavities. If you are not able to brush and floss after munching on sweet treats, drink water or chew a piece of sugarless gum. This will boost saliva flow in the mouth and help wash away bacteria.

Stress
Holiday anxiety can cause people to grind or clench their teeth, causing jaw pain, headaches, and chipping. "Finding ways to alleviate your anxiety can help, but it's also important to see your dentist, who can recommend solutions like a custom night guard," advises Dr. Shepley. "Wearing one at night will prevent you from taking out the holiday stress on your teeth while you sleep."

Dr. Shepley encourages his patients to remember that the gift of oral health is one that keeps on giving all year long!

"A healthy smile should always be at the top of your wish list," says Dr. Shepley. "Brush and floss your teeth twice daily and schedule an appointment to see your general dentist at least twice a year."

For more information about oral health, visit www.KnowYourTeeth.com.

About the Academy of General Dentistry
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is a professional association of more than 37,000 general dentists dedicated to staying up to date in the profession through continuing education to better serve the public. Founded in 1952, the AGD has grown to become the second largest dental association in the United States, and it is the only association that exclusively represents the needs and interests of general dentists. More than 772,000 people in the United States are employed directly in the field of dentistry. A general dentist is the primary care provider for patients of all ages and is responsible for the diagnosis, treatment, management, and overall coordination of services related to patients' oral health needs. For more information about the AGD, please visit www.agd.org.

SOURCE Academy of General Dentistry



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