Dental Naughty and Nice List
The holiday season is filled with celebrations and indulgences, many of which involve eating and drinking. Not surprisingly, the holidays can take a toll on your oral health. Check out Santa’s list of naughty and nice dental behavior:
Loading up on sweets – From holiday cookie exchanges to grandma’s sticky toffee pudding, the flavor of the season is sugar! While it’s fine to indulge and enjoy the festivities, avoid the temptation to graze on sweets all day long. Sweet drinks like eggnog, mulled cider and holiday punch can be even worse for your teeth because they bathe the entire mouth in sugar.
Disrupting your dental routine – Many people feel rushed during the holidays, and normal schedules are disrupted. Whether it’s a string of late-night parties or a visit to Grandma, make an effort to maintain your oral care routine and check that your children are also brushing and flossing regularly. Don’t forget to keep using dental devices such as retainers and mouth guards.
Using your teeth to cut ribbons, open packages – Resist the temptation to pry open packages or sever strings and ribbons with your teeth. This can result in chipped teeth and cracked enamel. Reach for scissors or other appropriate tools instead.
Ignoring a dental issue – If your schedule is packed with family gatherings, parties, shopping and travel plans, it’s tempting to ignore dental issues. However, that sore tooth or loose filling could turn into a major problem if left untreated.
Sipping on water between sugary snacks – If you are going to enjoy the holiday sweets and treats, be sure to sip on water to rinse off as much sugar as possible. Staying hydrated is also an excellent way to maintain overall health as well as oral health.
Opting for the veggie and cheese selection at holiday parties – Snacking on raw veggies as celery and carrots will help clean your teeth between sugary snacks. Hard cheeses will also stimulate saliva production and rinse bacteria from tooth surfaces.
Packing a disposable or travel toothbrush – Even if you’re not traveling during the holidays, carrying a disposable toothbrush and mouth rinse is a great way to freshen your mouth and reduce plaque between parties and events. If you can’t brush, then sugar-free gum can help cleanse teeth and neutralize the acids released by the bacteria in plaque.
Scheduling a year-end cleaning – If you have insurance dollars left over, schedule a cleaning or other service before the end of the year. If you have a more serious problem or persistent pain, call your dental care professional as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.
All of us at Town and Country Dental wish you the happiest and healthiest of holidays this year!
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