Who wants to worry about healthy teeth when you’re surrounded by all those delicious holiday treats? Or enjoying the good company of friends and family at holiday parties? But when you want your next dentist appointment to go smoothly (without any unpleasant surprises), you have to think about the health of your teeth all the time—-even during the most wonderful time of the year.
Avoid hard candies.
As tempting as candy canes, taffies and caramels are during the holiday season, shy away from the table packed with hard candies—or floss and brush immediately after done. Sugar can create the perfect storm of bacteria in your mouth, breaking down enamel and causing cavities.
Stick to your routine.
The holiday season is supposed to be a jolly time. It’s not a good time to miss your morning or night flossing and brushing. If you know you have a holiday luncheon or mid-day holiday party, bring your toothbrush or mouth wash along to work.
Avoid snacking, snacking, snacking, and more snacking.
It always seems like the holiday treats never go away…at the office, at home, or when you’re out and about. Unless you’re going to continuously brush your teeth, try to eat only at meals. Avoid grazing throughout the day so you can minimize your risk for cavities and other teeth issues.
Stay away from soda (or brush right after).
Sodas, even diet sodas, contain sugar which can mingle with bacteria in your mouth to form acid. The acid from this reaction attacks your teeth and can decay outer and interior tooth enamel. Scientific studies have shown a strong connection between sodas and tooth decay. If you do partake of an occasional soda, drink the soda. Don’t sip and make sure you brush as soon as you can after you’re done.
Don’t use your teeth as a nut cracker.
Be careful about using your teeth to open nuts at parties or at home—and anything else you may be tempted to open this holiday (i.e. packages, tape, ribbon, etc.) It’s not healthy for your teeth, and can cause damage (i.e. chipped or cracked tooth) that’ll make this holiday an unpleasant experience you won’t forget.
Floss, floss, floss.
Flossing gets all the plaque and harmful bacteria that you didn’t get while brushing, making it one of the most important daily habits that prevent cavities and tooth decay. It doesn’t matter if you floss before or after brushing, as long as you do it. So grab that dental floss after every holiday party and every time you brush; you’ll be glad you did when you get a clean bill of health at your next dentist’s appointment.
Schedule an appointment with your dentist.
This seems pretty obvious, but regular dental cleanings give your mouth a level of clean that you just can’t get with a brush—no matter how good of a brusher you are. Try to find time in your holiday schedule or after the holidays to schedule your next teeth cleaning so you can make sure the holidays are truly wonderful for you and your teeth.