Sweet Tooth: How to Maintain Dental Health Around the Holidays

by Head Health Nutter on December 13, 2015

The holidays are full of our favorite, festive foods that abound at parties, family get-togethers and traditional meals. It can be hard to resist having at least a taste because these foods are only eaten during the holiday season. Keep reading today’s guest post by Lizzie Weakley for tips on how to keep your dental hygiene during the holidays!

The sugary treats and alcoholic drinks consumed during the holidays can wreak havoc on your smile. The additional stress that the holidays bring can make even the most conscientious person fall out of flossing and brushing habits. This holiday season, give your teeth the gift of taking great care of them with these simple tips…

The Sweet Tooth How to Maintain your Dental Health Around the HolidaysTake Care When Drinking Wine

Wine has high acidity levels that can eat away at the tooth enamel, the protective part of the teeth that works to prevent decay and cavities from occurring. Try not to swish wine in-between your teeth while drinking it to avoid additional contact with your teeth. Drinking a glass of water between glasses can help rinse the extra acid from your teeth.

Don’t Crack Nuts Using Your Teeth

The nut bowl prevalent during parties can help add protein to your meal, keeping you full and helping you avoid eating too much sugar. Unfortunately, cracking the nuts with your teeth can cause damage. Cracking the hard shells can result in gum damage, tooth damage and can even cause your teeth to crack or chip. Always shell nuts before consuming them.

Limit Sweet Treats

Bacteria on the teeth thrive on sugar and can cause tooth decay and cavities to occur. Holiday cookies, candy canes, eggnog and hot cocoa are all high in sugar. Treats seem to abound during the holiday season, from neighbor treats to office snacks. Limit treats to those you really enjoy to eliminate mindless snacking. Chew sugar-free gum and drink water after eating treats to remove excess sugar from your teeth.

Avoid Chewy and Hard Sweets

Unfortunately, some treats are worse for your teeth than others. Sticky sweets can cling to the teeth and are more difficult to remove, which encourages tooth decay. Taffy and caramel can pull out fillings or crowns, resulting in pain and an emergency trip to the dentist. Hard candies can also cause teeth to chip and break. Chocolate is a better option when you want a holiday sweet.

Keep up with Dental Hygiene

Don’t be tempted to skip regular check-ups during the holiday season. Doing so can cause minor dental problems to worsen. According to South Temple Dental, a dentistry in Salt Lake City, make sure to brush twice a day and floss every day, or as recommended by your dentist. Some dentists may even recommend including a small tube of toothpaste and toothbrush in your car or purse to remove excess sugar from your teeth in-between parties or after work.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

Most dental offices are closed during the holidays. Should you have an emergency, you won’t be able to be seen until their office re-opens. When traveling, include gauze, floss and over-the-counter painkillers in your bag in case of dental emergencies.

Deal with Stress in Healthy Ways

Family, money problems and over-scheduling can all result in extra stress during the holidays. Teeth clenching and grinding are commonly done when people face anxiety and stress. These habits are harmful to teeth and can result in chipping, jaw pain and headaches. Deal with your stress in healthy ways and wear a night guard while sleeping to prevent the damage that can occur.

Keep your smile healthy and white for all of the holiday parties and pictures with these tips. Just a few minutes a day of routine dental care and saying “no” to a few holiday temptations can result in a pain-free, healthy holiday.

About the Author

My name is Lizzie Weakley and I am a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. I went to college at The Ohio State University where I studied communications. I enjoy the outdoors and long walks in the park with my 3-year-old husky Snowball.

Do you have any healthy dental hygiene tips for the holidays to add to this list?

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