Oral Health Tips for the Holiday Season to Keep Your Mouth Healthy & Fresh
If you’re partial to a small amount of over-indulgence during the Winter holidays (and let’s face it, who isn’t?), then you may be worried about just what all that candy is going to do to your teeth. Christmas and New Year are a time when candy, treats, and delicious desserts are out in force, but a sweet tooth shouldn’t stop you from keeping your mouth and teeth healthy! We’ve compiled a list of excellent tips to help you keep your smile looking perfect without having to completely stop yourself from holiday indulgences. Following our top tips for a healthy mouth will make sure that your smile is just as radiant after the holidays as it is before. Without further ado, here are the top oral health tips to think about during the festivities:
Tip One: Watch the Sugary Beverages
Sugar-filled drinks like punch, eggnog, soda and alcohol are some of the worst liquids that you can drink for a healthy and fresh month, especially during Christmas feasts and parties when there are even more sweet treats around than normal. It’s well-known that high amounts of sugar damage your teeth and put you at risk of getting cavities and other serious tooth problems that’ll require a trip to the closest general dentistry practice.
Tip Two: Make Sure You Floss Your Teeth
Flossing your teeth is a great healthy mouth habit to fall into, and if you don’t already floss, then there is no better time to start than after satisfying your craving for sweets. While flossing should never replace brushing, the two oral care methods should always be used together, as floss can reach areas that a toothbrush can’t. There are endless benefits to flossing in the right way; it can stop bad breath, lower tartar build-up, and even reduce the risk of getting gum disease. Adding flossing to your oral care routine is a brilliant way to keep your mouth healthy throughout the year.
Tip Three: Brush Your Teeth After Enjoying Your Favorite Holiday Dishes
Christmas and New years are a time of family and friend get-togethers, which also means delicious food. Many popular recipes during the festivities include meals, snacks, and desserts full of starch and sugars. So, it is crucial that you brush after any food that you consume that contains high amounts of sugar and or starch. While it’s always advised to avoid sugary food in excess, during the holidays, that’s not always possible, which means that good brushing habits are even more important; sugar and starch that remains in the mouth for prolonged periods of time will increase the likelihood of tooth decay.
Tip Four: Invest in a Good Toothbrush & Toothpaste
There is a big difference between brushing your teeth with the right toothbrush and toothpaste and brushing your teeth with the wrong toothbrush and toothpaste. Just a little change to your current products could greatly enhance the effectiveness of each brush. Sugar is definitely an ingredient that you want to avoid in your toothpaste, whilst fluoride is a very important ingredient to ensure that your toothpaste contains as it helps to prevent cavity problems. For toothbrushes, it’s essential to replace your toothbrush at least every few months and choose one with soft bristles, unless otherwise recommended by the experts at your general dentistry.
Tip Five: Learn How to Brush Your Teeth Effectively
Once you have the right toothbrush and toothpaste for optimum mouth care, you need to make sure that you’re using the correct brushing techniques. Brushing should be gentle but very thorough, with each tooth being brushed at least ten times. If you’re not 100% sure about the right technique for brushing, then it’s worth getting advice for you and your family from a family dentistry practice, who will be able to make sure that every member of your family, young and old, is following the right techniques.
Tip Six: Make Sure That You Visit Your Dentist
Visits to your general dentistry or family dentistry should be regular to ensure that your mouth is always healthy and fresh. However, if you’re planning to give in to the temptation of sugary treats this Christmas, booking a dentist appointment is more important than ever. Your dentist will be able to advise you on preventive dental treatments for long-term mouth care and cleaning treatments to ensure that any sugary snacks this Halloween don’t damage your teeth in the long run. You’ll also be able to talk with your dentist about restoration services in the worst-case scenario of tooth decay and discuss your overall oral health.
The holidays may be a time of the year that is filled with sugary temptation, but it doesn’t have to be a time of year where your mouth has to suffer the consequences of a little extra cake or candy. With the right flossing and brushing techniques, and a little extra care, you will be able to enjoy the holidays with those you love and no consequences.
Tip Seven: Avoid Hard Foods
When we think about Christmas and the holidays, time with the family, Christmas trees, presents, and memorable times come to mind. But so does the temptation to consume candy canes, nuts, toffees, dried fruit, and more. While these have been a staple of holiday celebrations, apart from their sugar contents, they are extremely hard and can lead to breaking or chipping a tooth. Trust us; you’re not going to want to chip or break a tooth during the holidays. Your food and drink options will be limited, and the amount of discomfort you will be in will ruin all the fun and joy that you should be indulging in. Take it safe and stick to the softer, easier to chew desserts. You will still get to enjoy everything that makes the holiday special and keep your teeth safe in the process!
Tip Eight: Take it Easy on Alcohol Consumption and Cigarettes
We know that the holidays are a time of celebrating with your favorite people, and by all means, enjoy a few drinks, but try not to get carried away as you will be putting yourself at an increased risk for gum disease. Alcohol and cigarettes dehydrate your mouth, allowing for harmful bacteria to attack your gums and pearly whites.
Tip Nine: Don’t Forget About your Fruits and Veggies
With so many mouth-watering dishes and snacks in front of you, it can be hard to remember about vegetables and fruits, but do your best not to forget about them. Once in a while, instead of piling your plate with Christmas cookies and cake, fill it up with veggies. Especially carrots and broccoli, as they are loaded with enamel strengthening Vitamin A. Now, we are not saying to avoid sweets at all costs, but when you can, take a break from them, replenish your hunger with some veggies and delicious fruit. Another approach to satisfying your craving is eating your sweets in proportion, one here and some veggies, another there. It ensures you enjoy your treats while avoiding snacking on sugary delights constantly.
Tip Ten: Stick to Your Good Dental Hygiene Routine
It’s not uncommon for the holidays to interrupt your daily schedule, especially if you have friends and family staying with you or you’re traveling from one place to the other. Try to stick to your routine of brushing at least twice a day and flossing once. As an added bonus, brushing between meals is the best way to get rid of any excess sugar clinging on inside your mouth!
Beautiful Smiles Dental Center – Conveniently located near Gurnee, Waukegan, & Park City, IL
While the only thing you should be planning for this holiday season is enjoying time with loved ones, dental emergencies can come at any time, night or day. Should they do, Beautiful Smiles Dental Center is always prepared to help treat your condition and get you back to the festivities. This holiday season, enjoy all of the festivities but don’t forget to protect your beautiful smile. Get your teeth and gums ready for Christmas and New Year with Beautiful Smiles; contact us today!