Local dentist competing to be Canada’s greatest holiday baker

By Steve Gow

A Halifax dentist will be heading back into the kitchen on Sunday intent of becoming Canada’s best holiday baker.

Dr. Sachin Seth may fill cavities but the Dalhousie University faculty member also knows how to craft a sweet baked good.  Not only did the periodontist professor appear in 2018 on the CBC series The Great Canadian Baking Show but he baked his way to the show’s grand finale with an elegant array of sweet treats.

On Dec. 12, he returns to television as one of several contestants from seasons past to compete for the title of Holiday Star Baker on a special festive episode of The Great Canadian Holiday Baking Show.

“I’m a bit of an enigma that way I guess where I am in the business of saving people from sugar and yet I am pushing it,” says Dr. Seth. “But it’s all good — everything in moderation and balance for sure!”

Perhaps not surprisingly, Dr. Seth’s attitude towards people devouring sweets over the holidays falls in line with that approach. In fact, with Christmas coming up quickly, he wants to remind people to take care of their oral hygiene as they feast on holiday treats and ingest fizzy drinks or sticky egg nog.

“I want to say very clearly, I do not want to stop people from doing any of those things,” notes Dr. Seth. “After what we’ve been through over the last two years, I need people to indulge — that’s going to be something that’s going to be good for the soul.”

He does however suggest that people — whether it is the holidays or not — be mindful to floss daily and brush their teeth twice a day at the very least. He adds that mouthwash, while not a mandatory part of one’s oral hygiene practice, can be an additional asset to washing away cavity-causing bacteria from accumulating on teeth.

“When you are in and out of parties and doing your drinking and eating, there’s nothing as good as washing your mouth out with water,” adds Dr. Seth, noting that simply drinking plenty of water helps to clean your teeth throughout the day.

“The decay process or the process of having gum disease is very simple — it’s bacteria, they need a food source and then they do their thing on their own,” says Dr. Seth. “If we eliminate that food source, which is the sugar and fermentable carbohydrates, then the bacteria doesn’t cause much problem on their own sitting there (so) water is so impactful in eliminating the free-floating sugar and carbohydrates that the bacteria need.”

While the Dalhousie University professor admits it is difficult for dentists to directly correlate the increase of holiday sweets with a boost in cavities in the new year, he states that it's more likely the disruption to our routines that cause the larger issues for dental patients.

“Maybe people get a bit more lazy around the holidays and aren’t staying on top of their oral hygiene,” suggests Dr. Seth. “They are sleeping in or they’re sleeping late or drinking a bit more so the flossing and brushing might go down the tube a bit and their gums might see the brunt of that — that is something we can see within a couple of weeks.”

As noted, Dr. Seth does not attempt to sway people from enjoying the holiday treats that will undoubtedly be consumed over the following weeks. In fact, as a potential Holiday Star Baker, it would be simply hypocritical for him to do so.

To that end, Dr. Seth is excited to soon be showcasing his baking skills and creating holiday treats on national television again. However, while he’s happy to reveal his dental secrets for maintaining good oral hygiene over Christmas, he remains tight-lipped on what he’s preparing on The Great Canadian Holiday Baking Show.

“You are going to have to just wait and find out what that is,” laughs Dr. Seth. “I am held in secrecy until the 12th of December!”

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