Research suggests that the average American gorges on more than 3,000 on Christmas, far exceeding the daily recommendations for both men and women. Many seem to feel that gaining weight over the holiday period is simply a foregone conclusion, but does that really mean that our teeth need to suffer as well?
There is certainly nothing wrong with enjoying some special treats and confections during the festive period, but everyone needs to pay special attention to their oral health habits, too. The following holiday oral health tips from Dental Care of Riverside can help.
Indulging a holiday hankering for something sweet is certainly acceptable when celebrating with friends and family, but it pays to be choosy. There are certain types of foods that are worse for the teeth than others. As such, do your teeth a favor and try to resist things like gummy candies, dried fruits, chips, and crackers (known to produce excess acids in the mouth), and soda. Try hard not to crunch ice as well, as this habit leads to enamel breakdown.
Rather, focus on enjoying traditional holiday foods that are much easier on the teeth. These include nutrient rich roasted turkey as well as sprouts. These are items that are not going to cause dental damage, but which also impart a sense of holiday enjoyment.
If holiday cookies are a tradition you simply cannot skip, perhaps opt for gingerbread, as it contains less sugar than many of the other varieties that tend to be so popular at this time of the year.
In terms of liquids, clear liquid options are your best bet. Though a glass of red wine might sound like a jolly idea, it is known to discolor the teeth and leave an unpleasant residue. But wine is a non-negotiable holiday treat, at least try to eat some cheese while you drink, as it will help balance the mouth’s pH level and minimize harm.
Do you occasionally neglect to brush and floss after a festive night on the town? The fact is that the holiday season is perhaps the worst time to get lazy about your dental hygiene, given all of the treats and indulgences that accompany this social time of year. Consider having a toothbrush and toothpaste with you wherever you go so that you will always be reminded to take care of your teeth right after you eat and drink.
Always remember that each tooth brushing session needs to last for at least two minutes and that flossing should happen twice daily. Doing so will reduce the chances that you will face a costly dental problem down the road.
Urge your friends and family to stick closely to their dental hygiene routines as well. While it may be tempting to ignore these types of responsibilities amid so much fun and frivolity, but the consequences of doing so can be severe. Take care of your teeth now, and they will take care of you for years to come.
Recommended water intake for woman is 11.5 cups daily and for men, it is 15.5 cups. Overindulgence at the holiday season is a common occurrence, and when it occurs, the body needs to be replenished. After a festive gathering, make sure to consume a large amount of water if you did not periodically hydrate during the event itself. Water is known to hinder the process of tooth decay, and if you can drink fluoridated water, all the better.
Drinking water after meals is crucially important, as it works to clear bacteria that may remain in the mouth, and it also helps with the dilution of acid that alcohol leaves behind. Water also helps you feel full in a totally calorie-free way, something that is a welcome thing during the feast-laden holiday season.
Taking it easy on your teeth during the holidays is important, yet not always as easy to do as many might think. Nervous nail biting and opening packages with the teeth are common activities late in the year, and the damage to the teeth that results can be significant. Not only can you cause chipping of the teeth, but you can also damage the enamel and experience subsequent tooth sensitivity.
If you find yourself experiencing stressful situations while gathering with friends and family and have trouble with nail biting, there are some things you can do to prevent serious damage. Keep your nails always trimmed, paint them so you will not want to harm the pretty manicure, and speak with family members in advance about avoiding controversial topics that might add stress.
Furthermore, try not to use your teeth to tackle common tasks that arise during the holidays, such as opening gifts and other packages with the teeth. If you are guilty of this shortcut, stop yourself now and save your teeth the trouble!
Even before the festive period begins, make sure to schedule a dental exam and cleaning for the start of the new year. Remember, though, that the demand for appointments after the holidays is increased, and therefore you need to get on the calendar way ahead of time. If you have a visit already planned for December, try not to cancel it, because you may find it hard to secure a replacement time slot until well into the following year.
As is the case on a year-round basis, preventative dental care during the holiday period is far better than having to undergo inconvenient, costly treatments later. Having a strong oral hygiene regimen in place before the festive season begins is the right way to keep your teeth in top shape not just now, but also well into the future.
The team at Dental Care of Riverside urges you to avoid overindulgences, brush, and floss regularly, stay hydrated, and remain vigilant about the health of your teeth even as you celebrate with loved ones.
If you would like to schedule an appointment now or once the holiday revelry is over, contact Dental Care of Riverside today. We look forward to seeing you!