The holidays are a fun and busy time of the year! In all of the excitement, it can be easy to forget about taking good care of your teeth. Fortunately, a few simple steps can make all the difference between having a healthy holiday smile or incurring dental damage that will require later attention.
Check out our four tips:
- Keep Your Teeth Clean
- Don’t Fill Stockings With Harmful Candy
- Don’t Use Teeth to Open Packages
- Make Smart Choices at the Holiday Table
It’s also important to see us regularly for exams and cleanings to keep your teeth in great shape. We recommend visiting our Bryan, TX office for these services every six months. If you’re overdue or want to go ahead and make an appointment for the upcoming New Year, call Johnson Dentistry today at 979-279-8839 (Bryan) 281-944-3634 (Spring) .
Clean Teeth Are Healthy Teeth
We know we talk a lot about keeping your teeth clean. At this time of the year, it’s especially important in light of two things: sugar consumption and holiday travel.
We get it, you’re likely to eat more sugary treats this month. That’s OK, you deserve it! However, try to rinse your mouth with water afterward. It helps rinse away harmful substances between your regular brushing and flossing routine.
It’s also easy to disrupt your good oral hygiene habits while traveling. Tuck a travel toothbrush and small tube of toothpaste into more than one bag, so you won’t have to go too long without brushing. If you’re visiting loved ones, put your dental hygiene supplies in a prominent place where you can easily see them. This will remind you to brush and floss.
Choose Chocolate Over Other Candy
Unfortunately, some popular holiday candies are especially harmful to teeth. Candy canes are sugary, sticky, and hard. So while they are fine for decorating the tree, we recommend not actually eating them. It’s too easy to damage teeth by biting down too hard on them. And since they are so sticky, they will get into the nooks and crannies of teeth and attract disease-causing bacteria.
Chocolate is a much better choice for candy. Since it is soft and melts readily, it is much easier to rinse away from your teeth. In fact, some dark chocolate contains polyphenols, natural chemicals that can help neutralize bacteria.
Don’t Treat Your Teeth Like Tools
We know you probably can’t wait to rip open packages. But please don’t use your teeth! Stick to scissors and similar objects. While your teeth are strong, they aren’t designed for cutting and tearing substances that aren’t food. Using your teeth to tear off a price tag or pry open a plastic container can cause chips, cracks, or even breaks. No one wants a broken tooth during the holidays.
Make Smart Food Selections
When it comes to holiday food, avoid excess sugar when you can. So, for example, choose vegetables that aren’t swimming in a sweet sauce. Remove the marshmallow topping from sweet potatoes. Choose a pie without meringue. Pumpkin is a good option because it typically contains less sugar than apple, cherry, or other flavors. Starchy foods can be problematic too, since the starch turns to sugar in your mouth.
Consume lots of water during the holiday meal to help wash away harmful substances, and rinse your mouth with water as soon as possible after eating. Bonus: drinking plenty of water will help you “save” calories for tasty treats like pie instead of wasting them on soda and similar drinks.