The holiday season is here again, which means it’s time to celebrate with delicious feasts and tasty treats. But before you overindulge, consider the health of your teeth and gums, which might take a hit as you focus on having fun at all of those holiday parties.
To help you maintain a brighter, healthier smile throughout this holiday season, we’ve compiled five tips that are easy to follow. Check them out below and get ready to impress your dentist at your next checkup.
1. Choose Holiday Foods Wisely
Eating right throughout the holiday season won’t only help you maintain your waistline; it could also help you maintain your lovely smile. Try to follow these guidelines whether you’re at a family gathering or your annual office party:
- Try and limit the amount of candy that you indulge in so you can keep all of that sugar off of your teeth in hopes of preventing cavities. Also consider choosing chocolate instead of other sugary, sticky sweets. Chocolate tends to wash off the teeth with greater ease than, say, a candy cane.
- Help undo some of the damage of all of the sweet treats you eat by having a variety of crunchy vegetables and fruits. Also choose whole grains over refined carbs, and opt for water rather than sugary beverages.
- When you don’t want to drink plain water, stick with beverages that are clear or light in color, rather than dark drinks like red wine. Doing so may help prevent stains and keep your teeth whiter.
2. Stick to Your Routine
The hectic holiday season could make it easy for anyone to feel too tired or distracted to stick to an oral hygiene routine. But going to bed without brushing your teeth or failing to floss at least once a day could be a recipe for new cavities in the new year. So no matter how many parties you have to attend or how much traveling you have to do, it’s highly recommended that you do your best to keep your mouth-cleaning routine the same. In other words, your daily schedule might change, but your brushing and flossing schedule shouldn’t.
3. Take Your Toothbrush with You
Yep, that’s right, it’s a good idea to take your toothbrush with you when you head off to a holiday party. Just buy a mini toothbrush, mini toothpaste, and a mini package of floss that will easily fit into your purse or pocket. Then, when you’re done eating, you could head to the bathroom and freshen up your mouth. This may not work if you’re at a fancy party, but it could work just fine if you’re at a family gathering. Plus, if you’re too tired to brush when you get home, it’ll already be done!
Okay, we know it might be a little weird to take your teeth cleaning kit with you when you’re off celebrating the holidays. So if that’s not really your thing, consider just chewing on some sugarless gum instead. Chewing gum, including spicy cinnamon gum, helps freshen breath while stimulating the production of saliva, which helps flush away food particles.
4. Try Not To Use Your Teeth As Gift Openers
If you find yourself having trouble opening up a present, you might be tempted to use your teeth, but don’t do it. If you try to use your teeth as tools, you increase the risk of injuring your gums or your jaw, and you might even crack a tooth. Now that’s a recipe for disaster, especially when your dentist’s office is closed for the holiday! So whether you’re having trouble with a package or a bottle, grab the appropriate tool to get it open, and only use your teeth for chewing food.
5. Don’t Be Naughty – Keep Your Dental Appointments!
Despite the hustle and bustle of this busy time of year, try your best to stick to your dental appointments. If you have a checkup or a cleaning coming up, it’s best to go rather than to reschedule. In this way, if there are problems brewing in your teeth or gums, you can catch them so they won’t get in the way of your holiday fun. And if you know that you should see your dentist shortly after New Year’s, this is a great time to schedule your appointment so you won’t forget.
The end of the year is also a good time to evaluate your dental insurance needs. You can look for a plan that will be affordable and give you the coverage you need for the next 12 months so you’ll have peace of mind that your smile will remain bright and beautiful until the next holiday season rolls around.
See? We told you that our five tips would be easy to implement. Now go ahead and take in everything that this special time of year has to offer!