You know the holidays are a time for celebration, family gatherings, and, of course, a lot of delicious food and snacks around every corner. All those amazing cakes, cookies, and treats can take a toll on your teeth if you’re not careful.
7 tips to help protect your smile during the holidays:
Limit Sugary Treats
Sweet treats are a staple of the holiday season. But, it is important to enjoy them in moderation. Sugary foods and drinks can feed the bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities. So it’s best to limit how much you eat, right?
“If you find yourself eating deserts and sweets, try to do so after meals when your saliva production is higher, which can help neutralize acids and rinse away food particles,” said Dr. Tony Thomas, lead dentist at Advanced Smile Care in San Antonio.
Choose Healthy Snacks
When you are at that next holiday party or family get-together, forget that bowl of chocolates that’s been tempting you. Reach for that delicious-looking cheese tray or bowl of fresh grapes instead. When you choose to eat the healthy stuff like fruits, vegetables, nuts, or cheese your teeth will thank you! These foods are not only good for your overall health, but they also won’t damage your teeth like sugary snacks can.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water is essential for good oral health. It helps wash away food particles and bacteria, and it also helps to keep your mouth moist. Heading out for shopping or a family gathering? Keep a water bottle handy so you can wash your mouth clean after noshing on some holiday cookies or cake while you are out. There are also some sugar-free water additives that can make your water taste great!
Avoid Using Your Teeth as Tools
We have all done it at one point. Trying to open a bag with our teeth. Yes, it is tempting to use your teeth to open packages, crack nuts, or hold items, but this can damage your teeth. If you need to open something take a moment to grab a knife or a tool to get the job done. Don’t use your teeth as a tool.
“Cracking or breaking a tooth is no fun during the holiday and can be costly to fix in an emergency,” said Dr. Thomas.
Protect Your Teeth from Acidic Beverages
Alcoholic beverages and sodas tend to be acidic, which can erode your tooth enamel. If you’re going to grab a beer with friends, have a cocktail at that holiday office party, or a glass of wine at your aunt’s holiday dinner keep a glass of water nearby as well. This way you can wash away all the acidic parts of your drinks and cocktails. Cheers!
Brush and Floss Twice a Day
Holiday breaks and vacations can certainly disrupt your oral health routine. So remember brushing and flossing are essential for removing plaque and bacteria from your teeth. Keep your routine and make sure to brush and floss at least twice a day.
If you are going to be out for the evening keep a travel toothbrush and floss with you. This way you can duck into a bathroom and brush your teeth. It also means you’ll have fresher breath when your after-dinner conversations go into the late hours. If you can brush after a meal great! Also, it’s handy to have just in case you get some uncomfortable crumbs stuck between your teeth.
Schedule a Dental Checkup and Cleaning
It’s important to see your dentist for a checkup and cleaning at least twice a year. Your dentist can check for cavities and other dental problems, and they can also clean your teeth and gums to remove plaque and tartar.
“Now is the perfect time to schedule that end-of-year check up and cleaning. This way you are heading into 2024 with a healthy happy smile.” said Dr. Thomas.
Remember, the team at Advanced Smile Care is always here to help you or answer your questions. We are dedicated to making sure our patients always have happy healthy smiles.
We wish you all the best this holiday season