The holidays are around the corner! And along with the parties, get-togethers, and merriment with friends and family comes plenty of opportunity to get off track from your healthy lifestyle. However, it’s still important to keep your dental health in mind. Consider these holiday dental tips to keep your smile in tip-top shape this holiday season—and start the new year with healthy teeth and gums.
Prioritize Your Oral Health Routine
The holidays are a particularly hectic time of year, but no matter how busy you are, don’t let your oral care routine fall by the wayside. Always brush your teeth for two minutes, two times a day, and floss daily to keep your mouth healthy this season—and all year long.
Avoid Chewy Foods and Hard Candies
Sticky, chewy treats like dried fruit and caramel tend to stay on teeth longer than other types of food. And hard candies, like candy canes, leave your teeth coated in a sugary residue. (Plus, if you bite down wrong on a hard candy, you can break or chip your teeth!) Avoid these treats when possible, and be sure to rinse with water and brush thoroughly after eating sticky foods or candy of any kind.
Don’t Use Your Teeth as a Present Opener or Nutcracker
Avoid a holiday teeth emergency—don’t use your teeth as tools! It can be tempting to rip into packages, tear tape, and even crack nutshells with our teeth, but doing so can cause chips and breaks. Give your teeth a gift and use scissors or a nutcracker instead.
Eat Sweets With (or Shortly After) Meals
This is one of our favorite tips to keep teeth healthy during the holiday season and beyond. If you’re eating sugary foods, try to time it so you’re eating them at, or shortly after, mealtime. Your mouth produces more saliva during meals, and this helps neutralize acids created by bacteria in your mouth, as well as wash away food particles.
Be Mindful of Teeth-Staining Beverages
Want to keep your teeth winter white this holiday season? Be mindful of stain-causing beverages like red wine, cranberry juice, coffee, and tea. Limit how much you drink, or drink with a straw to prevent staining your front teeth. You can also protect your pearly whites by alternating sips of water with sips of beverages that stain, and by brushing with a whitening toothpaste after enjoying your drink.
Bonus tip: Drinking wine? Nibble on cheese between sips. It’ll help neutralize the wine’s acidity and protect your tooth enamel.
Drink Lots of Water
Staying hydrated is always important, but especially during the holidays when you want to look and feel your best. Plus, it’s good for your teeth! Water helps wash away food residue and dilutes acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth, lowering your risk of tooth decay.
Schedule a Dentist Appointment
If you’re due for a checkup and cleaning, come in and see us before the end of the year. Or, schedule your post-holiday appointment now, and start off the new year with a beautiful, healthy smile.
Looking for more Christmas/holiday wellness tips? Or tips to keep your teeth healthy all year round? Don’t hesitate to contact us! We’d be happy to answer any questions or help schedule your next appointment.
About The Author
Dentist at Cottonwood Dental
Dentistry is a profession that requires many layers of knowledge and training. My background encompasses three post-grad degrees along with a command of aesthetics and precision. Both of those are necessary when creating the great results that we promise our patients. Being a graduate of the University of New Mexico and Marquette University School of Dentistry has provided me with a launching point for my practice at Cottonwood Dental. My ongoing research… [Read full bio]