‘Tis the season for healthy smiles! From family photos to mistletoe-kisses, you want to put your best smile forward. This can be difficult with endless opportunities to enjoy sweets, wine, and holiday treats. Unfortunately, these tidings of cheer can do a number on your teeth. To keep your smile as healthy as it can be, we wanted to share our top tips on caring for your teeth, gums, and mouth during the holiday season. What do you need to know to maintain the healthiest smile from now until the new year?
1. Don’t Skip Brushing and Flossing
The holiday season requires a lot of energy and effort. It’s no wonder so many people relax with a glass of wine and wind up falling asleep on the sofa before wandering off to bed. If this scene sounds familiar, remember that brushing and flossing before bed are imperative for your dental health. Acidic wine can wear away your enamel if left to do so, and bacteria thrive in an unbrushed mouth overnight. Avoid long term damages and always brush before bed.
2. Your Teeth Are Not a Tool
Don’t cut corners and try to crack nuts with your teeth. And those bicuspids aren’t for tearing tape or opening bottles, either. These tasks can permanently damage your teeth, and all it takes is one nut, one slip, or one “oops.” Keeping bottle openers, nutcrackers, and scissors nearby to help reduce the temptation. If you need your little ones trying to crack nuts with their teeth, remind them to use the cracker, instead.
3. Find Healthy Outlets for Stress: Stop Biting Your Nails or Chewing on Ice
The stress and nerves that arise during this time of year can cause a resurgence in bad chewing habits. From nail biting to ice chewing, be mindful of your nervous quirks and opt for other, healthier options. Invest in a stress ball, practice stress-relief breathing techniques, and don’t be too shy to step away and go for a quick walk or enjoy some fresh air should you feel overwhelmed.
4. Skip the Sweets
Holiday sweets can be disastrous for your dental health and the health of your little ones’ smiles. Sugar creates acid which can increase tooth decay and lead to gingivitis. Make healthy holiday snack alternatives like apple slices, yogurt and berries, and cheese bites. These all promote a healthy mouth and taste great.
It’s nearly impossible to make it through the holidays without eating some sweets. Just be sure you choose treats that are less sticky or chewy and enjoy them in moderation with water to wash them down. Brush and rinse after candy, cake, and other sugar-rich foods.
5. Bring the Kids by for Their Dental Appointments
School is out, and we can bet your children are due for a dental cleaning and exam. What better time to bring the kids in than now? Giving your little ones the gift of dental health is a present that lasts.
While you’re here, we can also diagnose and repair dental issues you may be experiencing. We can fill cavities and perform any other procedures to reduce dental pain, so you can enjoy holiday meals without discomfort.
Unwrap a Healthy Smile
Whether you’ve been putting off your dental discomfort or you’re ready for a new smile you can be proud of, it’s the perfect time to schedule an appointment. If you’re wishing for a white smile this winter, we are happy to play Santa.
Happy Holidays from the Hanson Dental team!
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