How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy During the Holidays
Healthy Teeth: The Gift That Keeps Giving
We love the holidays at Dr. Blum and Associates. But what we don’t love is tooth decay or tooth pain! When it’s beginning to look a lot like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any holiday you celebrate, it often begins to look a lot like some holiday feasting is about to take place. We have some tips for how to keep your teeth healthy during the holidays.
Don’t Be on the Naughty List
We don’t mean you have to carry a toothbrush and toothpaste around in your pocket to have healthy teeth during the holidays. You can enjoy everything the season has to offer without sacrificing your oral health. Here are a few foods and drinks to be aware of so that your smile can be both merry and healthy.
These are some foods and drinks that affect your dental health during the holidays:
- Sugar! While it is a good idea to watch your sugar intake in general, it is especially important for your teeth. Bacteria love the sugar in pies, cakes, cookies, and all manner of treats. Don’t forget, the starches in foods like potatoes and bread contain sugar as well. Use a straw when it is available.
- Acidic drinks like coffee and wine, and acidic foods like cranberry sauce. Acid wears down your enamel over time, weakening your teeth and making it easier for decay to set in. A glass of tap water has fluoride to help your teeth.
- Food that gets stuck between your teeth easily, like turkey. Bacteria love to gather between our teeth and gums and feed on the food stuck there. This contributes to many problems, like bad breath and painful gum inflammation. Flossing and rinsing with water after eating will alleviate this.
- Hard foods. Don’t crack nuts with your teeth, and be careful of hard candies and brittles. When it comes to tooth health, don’t give them a break. You don’t want to have a dental emergency on your hands during the holidays.
Healthy Habits for Your Holiday Smile
You can still enjoy holiday treats by practicing a little preventive maintenance. Here are some good strategies to protect your teeth and healthy smile:
- Frequently rinse your mouth with water. Drinking plenty of water is good for you in general, and it’s a great way to keep your teeth healthy. Water reduces the amount of sugar, acid, and other harmful substances coating your teeth, and aids in saliva production.
- Floss! Meat, nuts, and sticky foods like caramel clog up the places between your teeth and around your gums. Use floss to remove food debris and plaque from between the teeth, and carefully clean between the teeth and gums using a J-shaped motion.
- Brush your tongue. The tongue is often neglected during oral care, but bacteria collect there just as much as on our teeth and gums. Gently brushing the tongue reduces bacteria, helps prevent disease, and freshens breath.
- Be prepared. Lots of people travel during the holidays, so make sure to bring a spare toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss in your travel bag.
Good Oral Care: Always on the Nice List
In these winter holidays, maintain clean, strong teeth so that those you love can see your healthy smile. As always, don’t forget to get your regular checkups and cleanings at Dr. Blum and Associates. Schedule yours in advance, whether you’re preparing for the holidays or cleaning up after them.