The holidays are a time for family and friends to get together and celebrate, which also means holiday parties with tempting treats. You and your teeth can survive the holidays and avoid the dentist in January by following a few tips.
1: Use Holiday Vacation For More Brushing Time
If you find yourself eating more sweet, sugary, or chewy treats during the holiday season, make good use of your extra time off to brush and floss more often. You may find you have more time in the evenings or mornings if you or the kids, or both, have time off work or school during the holiday season. A few extra minutes spent on oral care, like brushing and flossing, can go a long way to help you protect your teeth from holiday treats. Once you get into a new daily routine, it may become habit.
2: Resist The Urge To Chomp Down On Hard Foods
Nuts, hard candies, and even ice are commonly offered at holiday parties, so resist the urge to use your teeth to crunch them. This means don’t use your teeth as nutcrackers. You may end up damaging your gums and teeth, or even breaking a tooth. The same is true of ice and hard candies. Your teeth are strong, but not made to chomp down on hard substances.
Shell your nuts before eating them, and allow ice or hard candy to dissolve naturally in your mouth. If you can’t stop yourself from crunching, then pass on the hard foods.
3: Don’t Use Your Teeth To Open Packages
While presents are not edible, they are a sort of holiday treat. If you are excited and impatient with opening packages, you may just tear into them using your teeth. If you find it difficult to contain your excitement, keep a pair of sharp scissors nearby so you can reach for them during the holiday gift exchange.
Bottles of beverages are also part of holiday parties, and you might be tempted to open a stubborn bottle cap or cork using your teeth. Don’t do it! You might just end up in the emergency dental chair with a cracked tooth getting a root canal.
4: Eat A Variety Of Foods
If you plan to eat carbohydrate-rich foods and sugary goodies, do so as part of a balanced meal. When you eat larger meals, your mouth produces more saliva, which helps to wash away more food off the teeth and neutralize harmful acids before they have a chance to attack your teeth’s enamel.
You don’t have to pass on the holiday treats to keep your teeth healthy as long as you continue good oral hygiene, even if it means carrying a travel toothbrush to use after eating party-time goodies. Just be smart about it, and don’t hesitate to ask your dentist.