It’s that time of year again—we’re all gearing up for some amazing recipes, and a lot of them contain loads of sugar. Apart from that, they’re also naturally acidic—think of cranberry sauce. Nothing cuts through your teeth like acidity, and sugar, and this dish packs a punch as a double-whammy. When it’s time to kiss the holidays goodbye, you want to do it with a full set of pearly whites. Here are Dr. Eric Perkins’ oral hygiene tips to get you ready for the holiday season.

  1. Don’t Brush Immediately After Your Meal

It may seem proactive to run right to the restroom sink and brush like there’s no tomorrow, but it’s actually doing more harm than good. The saliva in your mouth naturally breaks down food. If you’re brushing within a few minutes after you finish a meal, you’re actually pressing the acid and harmful bits into your teeth and between them before your saliva has a chance to naturally break them all down. Wait thirty minutes before brushing.

  1. Go All-In For Mouthwash

There’s standard mouthwash, and then, there are the “big guns.” These are usually seven-in-one types of mouthwash that are committed to annihilating bacteria, keeping you protected from cavities, and promoting positive enamel activity. If you’re suffering from periodontal disease, you may want to consider enamel-building mouthwash that helps protect the enamel you have left, and coats your teeth in a protective shield to ensure you won’t endure cavities.

  1. Toss Out the Floss Picks

Floss picks are actually going to do more damage to your oral hygiene than good. You grind against your gums harshly, and apart from that, you’re more likely to cut tissue that holds your teeth into place along your gums. These tend to do more damage than good, primarily, the pick side. You don’t want any pink in the sink. If it didn’t happen during brushing, when you’re really getting in there and scrubbing your teeth, then it doesn’t need to happen when you floss. Floss picks are hard on your teeth, not on your oral hygiene.

Schedule a Cleaning

That crucial time—usually in between Thanksgiving and Christmas—when your teeth need a deep cleaning the most is when you want to pay close attention. We all love holiday sweets and treats, and we shouldn’t have to pay for them in the long-haul. Be proactive and schedule your cleaning with Dr. Eric Perkins DDS before you sit down to carve into that turkey, or hit the corporate Christmas party for cookies and eggnog.