The holiday season is approaching quickly, and for many, that means lots of holiday parties, sweet treats, and presents. The holidays are a great time to indulge and spend some quality time with family and friends, but you must be careful not to sabotage your dental health in the process. To keep your pearly whites healthy and glistening, follow these holiday dental care tips.
Choose Your Candy Wisely
The sugar in candy is terrible for your teeth. Oral bacteria feed on the sugar, releasing acids that, over time, lead to tooth decay and cavities. Candy is a big part of many holiday celebrations, and to forgo it completely would be a shame. Just make sure you eat candy in moderation and choose treat with less sugar when possible. Here are some more specific tips:
- Avoid sticky candies, like caramels, as the sticky texture causes them to linger on your teeth – sometimes even after brushing. Opt for dark chocolate treats, which usually contain less sugar than milk chocolate and other sweets.
- Sip water after you eat candy or other sweet treats.
- Buy smaller packages of holiday candies so you are not as tempted to overindulge.
If your friends tend to give candy as gifts, consider reaching out to them prior to the holidays to suggest that you exchange non-edible gifts this year. Explain that you’re trying to be more conscious of your dental health; most people will understand.
Take Your Toothbrush to Holiday Gatherings
Holiday parties can last well into the evening. Before you know it, midnight has arrived, and you haven’t brushed your teeth in hours. Try packing a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss in your bag so you can care for your teeth sooner. Don’t brush right after the holiday meal. If you ate anything acidic, like oranges or tomatoes, your enamel will be soft and prone to damage. Wait about 30 minutes, and then brush.
Brushing before you come home will also help you avoid situations in which you arrive home exhausted and collapse into bed without having brushed your teeth.
Stick to Light-Colored Drinks
Water is the best drink for your teeth, so try to choose water over other beverages as often as possible on the holidays. Limit your consumption of sugary beverages like soda and juice, as these increase your risk of tooth decay.
If you want to indulge in some alcoholic beverages, choose light-colored beverages like white wine and pale ale over darker beers and red wine. These dark-colored beverages can stain your teeth.
Eat Cheese With Your Wine
Wine is an important part of the holidays for many, but since wine is acidic, it can cause some enamel damage if you are not careful. To minimize the acid damage to your teeth, nibble on some cheese as you sip. Cheese is alkaline and high in calcium, so it helps cancel out the effects of the acid. When you finish a glass of wine, sip some water to rinse the residue off your teeth.
Avoid Opening Packages With Your Teeth
Some of the plastic packages that toys and candies come in can be difficult to open. Gift wrapping ribbon is also tough to break or cut. No matter how much you struggle to open holiday packages, do not resort to using your teeth. Doing so may result in chipped or cracked teeth or damaged fillings. Keep some extra scissors or a pocket knife handy for touch packages.
If you follow the tips above, you can have a great holiday season without damaging your teeth in the process. And when the busy holiday season is over, contact Accent Dental to make an appointment for a checkup and cleaning. Regular preventative care will keep your teeth healthy and strong.