The holiday season is all about spending quality time with your friends and family, but rotten teeth or other dental related problems can ruin it all. An emergency trip to the dentist can suck out all the joy that comes out during the holidays. If you’re looking to get through the holiday season with a set of healthy teeth, check out these easy-to-follow oral hygiene tips.
Holiday Snacks Do’s and Don’ts
Everyone has a certain holiday sweet they love, but not all of them are healthy snacks. Some of the most common holiday treats are rather bad for your teeth, and threaten tooth decay. Here’s a few holiday snacks you need to watch out for:
Eggnog – Eggnog may be a big holiday staple, but your tooth may not agree. Most eggnogs contain a degree of alcohol, which causes dry mouth. Dry mouth is bad for your teeth because it inhibits salivation, which protects your teeth from the effects of sugar and acid. Eggnog is also highly sugar concentrated, and we all know what sugar does to your teeth.
Candy Canes –The most notorious holiday treat of them all, candy canes are purely sugar. Worse yet, candy canes take forever to finish, no matter the size. That means your teeth must deal with sticky sugar longer than they can afford, putting your teeth in jeopardy. If you want to avoid the gift of rotten teeth this holiday season, maybe skip out on the next candy cane round.
Holiday Cookies – Cookies are always an issue, in or out of the holiday season. Albeit it takes less time to consume a holiday cookie than a candy cane, they’re still loaded with sugar! Eat these sparingly, too many can accelerate tooth decay.
Caramel Popcorn – We agree caramel popcorn is addicting, but coating an already dangerous snack for your teeth with sticky caramel is a recipe for disaster. Sugar attacks your teeth best in tiny amounts at a time, and that’s exactly what mindless eating of this treat does right.
While we recommend avoiding these holiday treats, it doesn’t hurt to enjoy them sparingly. After all, if you’re not going to eat them, your friends and family will. There are however, healthy snacks that are just as fun to munch on during the holidays. Gingerbread, peppermint bark, roasted almonds and cheeseballs are all delicious and entertainment-worthy for every holiday activity!
Stop Stressing over the Holidays!
Taking care of your oral hygiene doesn’t just stop at the food and treats you’re eating. With the holiday season is a significant rise in stress, that only comes back down when it’s all over. Having to plan out gifts, setting up decorations, and preparing for social outings makes the holidays tough for a lot of people. Stress can deprive you of sleep and lower your immunity, leaving your teeth to fight an onslaught of sugar and bacteria by themselves. Eventually, your teeth will succumb and expose itself to gum disease and tooth decay, neither of which are entertaining. Stress plays another card, teeth grinding, that makes your teeth feel loose and sore by day’s end.
Avoiding stress can be tough. Our recommendation is to just take a break from everything for even a little bit. It’s the only time of year the entire world pauses what it’s doing and enjoys the holiday atmosphere, it’s only fair you do the same.
Don’t Forget the Basics!
With time flying faster than normal during the holidays, you may forget some of the easiest steps towards healthy teeth. Don’t ever forget to brush your teeth, right when you wake up and before you go to bed. You can even brush your teeth about half an hour after holiday meals, to make sure you get all the food gunk out between your teeth. Start picking up a new tradition, flossing. More than 20% of the population admit to not flossing daily, so take a minute of your day to stretch out a piece of floss and run it gently through your teeth to fully clean your teeth. To top off your oral hygiene habits, use mouthwash to feel fresh and ready to take on every single day.
As the year slows down and the holidays fast approach, we at Fillmore Dental want to wish you Happy Holidays and a jolly New Year! We hope that you’ve had a wonderful year, and that you enjoy this holiday season with those who matter to you the most. Get more wonderful tips for healthy teeth by contacting us online or by phone at (805) 265-3366.