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Have a happy (and cavity-free) holiday
Updated: 12/21/2011 7:00:25 PM

Finally, don  

The holiday season is filled with presents, family and food. Only one of these things, however, is likely to cause dental problems such as tooth decay and gingivitis if people aren't regularly brushing and visiting the dentist. Recently, Nigel Carter, DDS, chief executive of the British Dental Health Association, offered some suggestions for people who want to enjoy their family dinner without worrying about cavities.

The dentist said that since there will already be a lot of sweets at holiday parties that will pose a threat to teeth, it's best not to graze in between meals. Doing so causes the enamel of teeth to constantly be subjected to substances that can erode it, increasing the risk of tooth decay.

After consuming a lot of sugar, be sure to wait at least an hour before brushing. Rushing to the bathroom and grabbing that toothpaste too soon could actually cause further damage to teeth.

Finally, don't forget about the bad breath that holiday foods can leave behind. A Wrigley survey found that 70 percent of people are turned off by halitosis when they go to kiss someone under the mistletoe, so keep some sugar-free gum around. 

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