08 Dec 5 Tips to Protect Your Teeth During the Holidays
There’s nothing like an unexpected trip to the dentist to derail the most wonderful time of the year. To ensure your teeth stay healthy through the holidays and beyond, follow these tips:
1. Teeth aren’t present-openers or nutcrackers
This sounds like a no-brainer, but when an impatient child hands you a toy double sealed in Teflon-strength packaging, your instinct might be to do whatever you can to rip it open. Do yourself a favor; resist the urge and seek out a pair of scissors! The same goes for cracking nutshells. Forgoing the real nutcrackers will save you thirty seconds but might cost you a broken tooth and an expensive dental bill.
Teeth are great for many things – think chewing and enunciating – but they do not make good tools. Using your teeth to open bottles, packages, crack nuts, etc., weakens the enamel and fragile edges of your teeth. In turn, this leads to tooth cracking and breakage and likely costly cosmetic dental work.
2. Have some cheese with your merriment
You don’t have to skip that cup of nog or a champagne toast, but there are ways to make imbibing slightly less damaging to your teeth. Alcoholic beverages are notorious for their high acid content, which can wear away protective tooth enamel. To cut the acid content without cutting into your fun, try nibbling on a chunk of cheese between sips. The alkaline in the cheese neutralizes the acid in the beverage and gives you another reason to hang around the charcuterie board!
3. Choose light-colored or clear beverages
The last thing you want to do is wake up on January 1st and wonder why your previously white teeth now appear to be stained pink – especially if you’ve invested in whitening and brightening them. Red wine and the cranberry juice in those cosmopolitans might be full of cancer-fighting antioxidants, but they’re also potent tooth stainers. And yes, even a few can quickly undo all your whitening efforts. So to keep your teeth as white as possible this holiday season, opt for light-colored or clear beverages. You’ll still be holly and jolly; only your teeth won’t look any the worse for wear.
4. Drink plenty of water
Drinking water has many health benefits, especially during the holidays when you’re likely out and about and want to look and feel your best. Not only does water keep your skin looking fresh and hydrated, but it also freshens your breath and aids in digestion and elimination. When it comes to healthy teeth, another advantage of drinking water is that it can clean away newly formed bacteria, helping you to stay cavity-free during the sweetest time of year! Carry a water bottle or keep a glass nearby for a quick rinse while indulging.
5. Stick to your oral health routine
Taking a break from our daily routine is part of what makes the holidays special, but it can also make it challenging to get “back to normal” once the decorations are put away. Even if you’re traveling this season, set an intention to stick to your daily oral health regimen. Making it a point to stick to twice-daily brushing and regular flossing will not only keep your smile photo-ready, but it will also leave one less thing to get back to in January (like the gym).
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Remember, when it comes to oral hygiene, prevention is better than treatment any time of year. Ultimately, while it’s wise to drink substantial amounts of water and not overindulge in sugary snacks, following a dental care routine year-round is the best way to preserve your teeth this season.
Do you need a checkup before or after the Holiday season ends? Give us a call today to schedule an appointment and keep your dental health in check!