There’s a tendency to overindulge in sweets and candy over the holidays. They seem to be everywhere you go. With all the bustling activities around, there’s not much time left to keep up with a routine. Unfortunately, all the eating and drinking can take a toll on your oral health, but it doesn’t have to.
It’s crucial to pay extra attention to your teeth and gums to keep them healthy. By following the tips below, you can still enjoy the holidays without compromising your dental health.
Avoid Chewing on Ice Cubes and Hard Candy
Chewing on ice cubes can lead to cracked or chipped teeth. This can lead to unbearable pain that inhibits you from enjoying the holiday treats. When snacking on a sweet or finishing the ice cubes in your cocktail, leave them to dissolve naturally.
Better still, skip these items if possible. Remember that ice can be the source of discomfort for sensitive teeth and candies promote tooth decay. Other standard holiday staples you should consider avoiding are soft mint chews and chestnuts. While avoiding them can be quite a challenge, visualizing an expensive dental filling can be a good deterrent.
Pick Teeth-Healthy Foods
Holidays present an opportunity to nibble and munch on foods that won’t come around again until the next festive season. However, you must strive to balance the sugary delicacies with crunchy fruits and veggies.
Carrots and whole grains are especially excellent choices. Your teeth will thank you long after the holidays.
Don’t Use Your Teeth to Open Bottles
It’s very tempting to use your teeth to open bottles when you can’t find a bottle opener. If you want peace with your teeth, avoid doing so at all costs. Teeth are great at many things like chewing and enunciating, but not for use as tools. Using them to open snack bags, gift packages, and other similar items will do them no good.
On the contrary, doing this regularly will only weaken the enamel and make your teeth more fragile. Eventually, your teeth will break or crack, leading to an expensive cosmetic repair job.
Be Picky with Your Drinks
Consume sugary drinks and fruit juices in moderation. They have a high sugar content that generates acid in the mouth. Their prolonged consumption leads to tooth decay, mostly when left to sit in the mouth for long.
If you’re drinking sugary drinks, it’s best to do it at mealtimes. This is when the mouth produces more saliva that helps neutralize the acid produced by the bacteria in the mouth. It also helps rinse away the sugary residue and food particles. Remember to brush your teeth immediately before wearing your aligners again after eating.
Alternatively, drink from a straw as it helps keep the liquid away from the teeth. It’s also a wise idea to choose clear or light-colored beverages. While red wine is purportedly rich in antioxidants, it’s a potent teeth-stainer that can water down all your efforts in teeth whitening.
Clear or light-colored drinks are still as tasty as colored ones. The best part is that they won’t leave your teeth looking stained or discolored.
Drink Plenty of Water Daily
Water should be your closest friend during the holidays. Drinking a lot of it is not only beneficial to your skin to keep it hydrated, but also to your teeth. It helps keep your breath fresh and aids in digestion and elimination of food particles after eating. It can clean away freshly-formed bacteria to avoid the case of sore teeth.
As a perk, drinking water throughout the day helps to keep you full. This way, you avoid snacking and biting on sweet things unnecessarily.
Honor Your Dental Appointments
Holidays are a busy time, but that doesn’t mean you should shelve your dental health care needs. If your teeth are due for dental work, remember to honor your appointment. Skipping your appointments could do more harm than good to your teeth. It’s better to catch problems now than wait until the New Year when there’s so much to do.
Keep Up with Your Oral Hygiene Routine
As much as possible, ensure you set an intention to uphold your oral health routine during the holidays. Flossing two times daily, gargling with mouthwash, and brushing don’t fit in the fun-things-to-do list. However, someone has to do them, and that’s you.
Always pack your gauze, dental floss, and pain relievers when traveling. They’ll come in handy in case of minor dental problems. Don’t forget to bring your dental benefits policy number with you.
The Bottom Line
Don’t neglect your oral hygiene over the festive period. Forgetting to brush your teeth after a night of partying is a step closer to dental problems. Go slow on sweets and sugary stuff, and remember not to chew on hard candy, nuts and ice.
Although all these may seem trivial, you’ll appreciate their impact when the New Year comes. Don’t forget to keep in touch with your dentist for your appointments or consult them in case of dental problems.