The holidays are on the horizon, and for many that means spending time with loved ones, rekindling traditions, and lots of food. While this season is meant for celebrating, it’s very easy to overdo it on indulgences like sweet treats and alcohol. At Ashley Dental, we encourage you to enjoy your holidays while also staying on track with good dental habits so you can end the year with a healthy smile. In order to guide you through the holiday season, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you maintain good dental habits to keep your teeth in good shape no matter what the holidays may bring.
The holiday rush can lead to a busy schedule, making your daily water intake easy to lose track of– but do your best to stay on top of it! For the sake of your teeth, and your overall health, it’s important to make sure you’re staying consistent with your water consumption. In addition to keeping you hydrated, drinking water can help wash away excess plaque and ward off dry mouth. Drinking a couple glasses of water will also help to quench thirst, making other sugar-filled drinks less tempting. Seasonal alcoholic beverages and ciders tend to be highly acidic, and can damage the enamel on your teeth, so it’s best to drink those in moderation, and to opt for some water instead.
Pay attention to what you eat
There are a couple tricks to keep in mind when dining this holiday season. When it comes to special occasions or holiday dinners where sweets are present, make sure to eat your main meal first before heading to the dessert table. Eating a full meal will fill you up, and will prevent you from eating too many sugary treats that can damage your teeth. For snacking throughout the day, however, bring a bag of raw fruits and veggies with you. Not only can you satisfy hunger cravings, but raw vegetables and certain fruits can actually help clean your teeth while you’re snacking.
Eat cheese while drinking wine
If you choose to have some wine at your holiday party, head over to the hors d’oeuvres table and select some cheese from the cheese plate to pair with your wine. Aside from being delicious, the calcium in cheese may help protect your enamel from the acid in the wine. While the acid in wine can wreak havoc on your teeth if consumed excessively, calcium can help aid in restoring the minerals in your teeth. While it’s best to avoid wine that can stain your teeth and damage enamel, if you choose to indulge, cheese and wine serve as the perfect pair.
Keep some floss handy for common holiday foods
You may find yourself needing to floss more than normal while feasting during the holidays. Common foods such as corn, spinach, and meat all have the potential to get stuck in the teeth, potentially damaging your smile. While you should keep flossing at least once per day, make sure you have some extra floss at hand so you don’t walk around the holiday party with spinach in your teeth.
Remember to brush!
Sweet treats are inevitable in the holiday season. Festive pies, candy canes, and Christmas cookies are all treats that we should be able to enjoy. It’s important to make sure that you stay consistent with your brushing habits, especially if you’re indulging in some desserts. This means you’re maintaining good dental habits, like brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, and always making sure you brush before bed!
Once you’ve brushed, don’t head back in for a midnight snack
Even if you brush before bed, if you sneak out for a midnight snack you’re undoing all the dental work that you’ve just done! By snacking and then heading straight to sleep, the food particles aid in the multiplication of bacteria-causing decay. Make sure you always brush before bed so you can ring in the new year without any cavities.
Don’t use your teeth for anything other than chewing food
Nothing can put a damper on a good time like an emergency trip to the dentist. Whether you need to open a bottle, a gift, or even unwrap a candy, do not use your teeth as tools! Using your teeth for anything other than chewing your food can lead to damage, chipping, and breaking of your teeth.
If you need an appointment in between holidays this season, call us at (843) 767-2600 or request an appointment. We’ll help you get your smile holiday ready!