As we enter the last few weeks of the year, don’t let your favorite holiday foods leave a blemish on your smile. It’s more important than ever you maintain your oral hygiene while also watching what you eat to keep your teeth healthy into the new year. Here are a few easy tips to keep in mind to care for your smile during the holiday season.
1. Avoid Hard Candy
You’ll be surrounded by many sweet treats, like candy canes. Although they taste great, they contain a lot of sugar. When sugar combines with your saliva, it creates an acidic plaque that can slowly erode your enamel, leading to tooth decay. Not to mention, you also have a heightened risk of a broken tooth if you bite or chew them. You can protect your smile and avoid an unplanned visit to your dentist by skipping hard candy. If you can’t ignore your sweet tooth, eat them in moderation, and brush your teeth well afterward. Avoid chewing on them to prevent a dental emergency.
2. Stay Hydrated
Water is crucial for staying hydrated, but it is also important for a healthy smile during the holidays. Although egg nog and hot chocolate taste great, they have a high sugar content. Not to mention, drinks containing alcohol or caffeine can dry out your mouth. Both factors can increase your risk of decay and infections. It’s best to drink water whenever possible to stay hydrated and preserve your smile.
3. Don’t Use Your Teeth as Tools
As you wrap gifts and open packages, your teeth are a handy tool when you can’t reach scissors. Although using your teeth is a convenient option, it can lead to breaks or fractures. It’s best to take the time to find the right tool for the job to avoid unnecessary damage to your smile.
4. Don’t Forget to Brush and Floss
Your schedule may be a bit busier over the next few weeks, but it’s important to commit to your oral hygiene. Take the time to brush your teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes each session. Don’t forget to floss every night before going to bed.
5. Visit Your Dentist
If you haven’t had your second hygiene appointment, there’s still time to schedule your next cleaning and checkup. You’ll ensure there aren’t any untreated issues lingering in your mouth while also keeping your teeth clean to smile confidently during the holidays.
Maintain a Healthy Smile
Keep your teeth and gums a priority over the next few weeks. You’ll lessen the risk of an unexpected oral health issue interrupting your plans while starting the new year with a healthy smile.
About Dr. Michael L. Howard
Dr. Howard has provided exceptional dental care for over 30 years. He was the only student in his class to achieve the International College of Dentists Outstanding Achievement Award while earning his degree at the Emory University School of Dentistry. If it’s time for your next cleaning and checkup, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.