The holidays are suddenly here and at every turn, there’s a plate of baked goods or sweets from your neighbors, at the office party, or at dinner with family and friends. Sweets are in abundance during this time of year. Unfortunately, the extra sugar can wreak havoc on your teeth and overall oral health, if you’re not careful. Learning how to care for your teeth during the holidays can take a bit of effort, but in the end, it will be worth it. At Stuart Curry Dentistry, we care about your smile, which is why we’ve created this guide on how to protect your oral health during the holiday season.
Drinking and eating sugary beverages and foods for prolonged periods of time can significantly increase your chances of tooth decay, tooth loss, and gum disease. And let’s face it, there’s nothing like a get-together on the holidays to keep people mindlessly indulging in the sweets and other snacks in front of them, for several hours on end.
The following tips can help protect your dental health and your smile during holiday events.
The holidays can completely turn your schedule upside down, but brushing and flossing your teeth two to three times daily is a must. If you plan on indulging in holiday treats including sugary foods such as candy canes, peanut brittle, freshly baked pie, or fudge, then sticking to your usual oral health routine is more important than ever. A simple brushing will remove food and sugar from your teeth, which will go a long way toward protecting your oral health and preventing tooth decay. If you’re having dinner with family or friends, keep a toothbrush and some floss in your purse or the car. That way, you can keep your teeth clean while you’re out and about and enjoying the holiday season.
There will be sugary treats wherever you look at a holiday get-together. There’s just no way to avoid it. While you can definitely partake here and there, try keeping a piece of crunchy fruit on hand to help you resist temptation. Fruit is a much healthier option than candy and baked goods and can help satisfy your sweet tooth.
Drinking plenty of water each day comes with a number of health benefits, especially during the holidays when you’ll be gone more than normal. One of the biggest benefits of drinking water is that it can flush out food particles and freshly formed bacteria with each sip. Additionally, water can help with elimination, aid in digestion, and can freshen your breath. Drinking more water can also fill you up faster, which can prevent you from overindulging in sweets.
Healthy fats are essential to your overall health and can promote healthy teeth and a beautiful smile. We recommend choosing healthy fats such as fish, avocados, and olive oil. If you’re not sure how to incorporate healthy fats into your diet, speak with one of our dentists to learn more.
A bad habit that many people are guilty of, cracking nuts with your teeth can do a lot of damage that can harm your smile and weaken your teeth. The hard surfaces of most nutshells can cause serious gum damage and tooth damage.
Candy canes, chocolate, soda, candy, pie, cakes, and cookies, the list goes on and on. While we won’t tell you to avoid these sweets during the holidays, we do suggest you limit your sugar intake. Keep track of how much sugar you consume during the holidays. Not only will doing so be beneficial for your overall health, but it will also reduce your risks of gum disease, cavities, and plaque.
You won’t always have time to brush your teeth after indulging in sugary sweets at your family’s house, so make sure you bring along some sugarless gum. When you chew a piece of sugar-free gum, saliva production increases. An increase in saliva can wash away food and other types of debris. Saliva can also neutralize the acids that are produced by harmful bacterial. This increased saliva will also carry with it more phosphate and calcium, to strengthen tooth enamel. As an added bonus, chewing gum can keep your mouth busy, which can curb your craving for sugar and snacking when you’re not hungry.
To keep your smile looking great, don’t put off scheduling your regular dental cleaning. You can schedule a post-holiday cleaning at the Stuart Curry Dentistry today, so once the holidays are over you can ensure your gums and teeth are back on track for the new year. Contact our office today to schedule a cleaning or regular dental check-up.