What are you looking forward to most about this holiday season? Whether your favorite part of the holidays involves going to parties with families and friends, baking sweet treats for your loved ones, or exchanging gifts, it’s important to be aware of how the holidays can affect your teeth. You’re at increased risk for damaging your teeth between Thanksgiving and New Year’s thanks to festive food and drink, among other things. Here’s how you can keep your smile healthy for the holidays.
- Limit your intake of tooth-damaging treats.
Hard candy, soft candy, sugary cookies — the holiday season seems to give you a new reason to eat sugar every day. All that sugar can be very damaging to your pearly whites. And if you’re eating snacks that are crunchy or sticky, you’re especially at risk for developing a cavity or chipping a tooth. Rules of thumb: stay away from hard candy and chewy candy like taffy, limit your intake of other sweets, and never chew ice.
- Nibble on snacks that clean your teeth naturally.
Eating fruits and veggies is a good way to clean gunk from your teeth naturally. Of course, it’s not as good as actually brushing your teeth, but it will help protect your smile if you’re at a party and can’t brush. Healthy snacks are also much better for your waistline than sugar- and fat-laden holiday treats.
- Rinse your mouth after drinking alcohol.
If you’re planning on enjoying some red wine or eggnog this holiday season, rinse your mouth out with water after you finish your drink. The same goes for acidic drinks, like festive holiday coffee. Acid and alcohol can sit on your teeth and continue damaging your enamel for hours if you don’t rinse it off. Rinsing your mouth will also help prevent staining.
- Stick with your regular dental care routine.
Brushing and flossing might not sound like much fun after you get back from a seasonal get-together with friends, but you should take the time to do it anyway. Just five minutes of oral care every day can make a big difference down the line, so maintain good habits over the holidays.
- Avoid using your teeth for opening packages or presents.
When you want to open a package right away and you don’t have any scissors nearby, it’s tempting to use your teeth instead. Don’t do it, though. You can easily chip or crack a tooth this way, and that’s probably not the kind of memory you want to make this holiday season.
- Drink lots of water throughout the holiday season.
The weather is chilly and you have lots of holiday drink options available, but that doesn’t mean you should forget about water. Drinking plenty of water rinses damaging acids out of your mouth and cuts down on your cavity risk. Aim to drink at least half a gallon every day.
- Schedule an appointment with your dentist in a timely manner.
A little accountability can help you keep your dental health on track throughout the holiday season. Come see us at Metro Dental Health on your check up time to ensure that your teeth are still as healthy as possible.