The holidays are just around the corner… who’s getting excited!? There are so many things to enjoy about the holiday season, but frosted sugar cookies, eggnog, and candy canes rank pretty high up there. This time of year is full of indulgences, which means your teeth will need a little extra TLC. Here are five tips you can incorporate into your holiday hygiene routine to make sure you have healthy teeth heading into the new year:
Tip #1 – Swish, Swish
I’m not going to be a typical dentist and list “brush your teeth” and “floss your teeth” as my top two tips. You’re smart and you know that you need to brush and floss. You should be doing that year round already! However, here’s a trick if you don’t have the time or the opportunity to brush and floss after enjoying your holiday indulgences… swish some water in your mouth and spit.
Even just basic water can remove those pesky “sugar bugs” from your teeth, preventing future cavities. It’s super easy to do, too! You can bring some water into the bathroom with you and swish away. No one will ever know!
Tip #2 – Pick Your Favorite Dessert
We can really overdo it during the holidays. There is so much temptation! However, your teeth and your waistline will thank you if you work hard to practice some restraint at the dessert table. Pick your favorite dessert and really enjoy it.
If you truly can’t pick one, try a small taste of a few desserts. There can be SO much sugar in these sweet treats, so doing your best to limit your serving size will go a long way.
Tip #3 – Schedule a Cleaning
One of the best things you can do for your mouth is maintain your six month dental cleanings. We think it’s so smart when people schedule cleanings in December because it gives us an opportunity to really get in there and remove plaque and tartar buildup when it might otherwise be at its worst.
An added bonus? You can use up any of those remaining dental insurance benefits you have! They don’t roll over into the next year, so be sure to take advantage of them before they expire.
Tip #4 – Be Prepared
This is the time of year when things can really mess with our schedules and routines. The kids’ bedtimes might get pushed back due to a holiday party or we might be traveling to see family. Do your best to be prepared for these scenarios. Don’t skip your brushing and flossing routine because it’s late. Having healthy teeth means you’ll take the extra two minutes and do it anyway!
When packing, don’t forget your floss, toothbrush and toothpaste. It’s also a good idea to take your dental benefits policy number with you in case an emergency happens while you are away.
Tip #5 – Don’t Use Your Teeth as a Nutcracker
This last one might sound silly but believe me… someone ends up with a broken tooth every year because they were trying to be a human nutcracker. It’s not uncommon to find a bowl of shelled nuts on the holiday appetizer table, but please do NOT use your teeth to crack them open.
Even if you don’t crack a tooth, you can do some pretty serious damage to your sensitive gum tissue, so don’t risk it. Use a nutcracker.
We hope these healthy teeth tips keep you smiling throughout the holiday season… and beyond! From the team at Inspire Dental Wellness, we hope your month is full of magic and love!