Tooth Care Tips for the Holidays
Taking care of your teeth during the holidays is more than just remembering to brush and floss. While of course these are important all of the time, taking extra steps to protect your teeth during the holidays could save you from facing a minor or major dental emergency during the holiday season, when it can be harder to access professional dental care in Saskatoon. Read on for our 10 tooth care tips for the holidays!
Avoid using your teeth for anything other than chewing food.
It may seem convenient to use your teeth to shell nuts, open the corner of a parcel or rip a piece of tape while wrapping gifts, but resisting these impulses could save your teeth in the long run. Often cracks and cavities start with smaller damage that weaken the protective quality of the enamel. Take the extra minute to find a handheld tool for those little jobs you think your teeth can handle.
Leave chocolate and candy out of gifts and stocking stuffers.
Avoid gifting toffee or chocolate to your loved ones, especially children. If your kids love advent calendars, find or make one with surprises other than sugary treats. Try riddles, jokes, coins or cash, small toys or craft supplies. Get creative!
Stay away from dark coloured beverages.
To combat dental staining and keep your smile sparkling bright, avoid drinking coffee, black tea, red wine, and other deeply pigmented beverages. Opt instead for water, tea, white wine, or other light-coloured drinks.
Save sweet treats for mealtimes when salivary flow is naturally higher.
Many people don’t know that their saliva contains antimicrobial properties that help combat bacteria that cause bad breath and cavity formation. Reserving your favorite sweet holiday treats for during or immediately after meals will pose less threat to your oral health than intermittent snacking between meals.
Make friends with green tea and drink it after meal times.
Tea polyphenols are antiodixdant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and have oral cancer preventive properties. Drinking green tea regularly can help protect against cavities and tooth decay caused by bacteria that thrive in oral environments with lots of sugar residue and food debris.
Neutralize acidity in wine with nibbles of cheese between sips.
Cheese is high in calcium which promotes enamel remineralization and counteracts the acidity of wine and other alcohols that wear away at the protective tooth enamel. Read more about preventing sensitive teeth and protecting your enamel from acid erosion here.
Don’t attempt to chew candy canes or ice cubes.
Your teeth are meant for chewing food, not breaking rock-hard materials. Other hard treats like peanut brittle or even candied nuts can cause enamel damage and micro-cracks that are imperceptible but lead to more serious damage later.
Limit your snacking between meals, especially sweets.
The more frequently you expose your teeth to sugar, the more chances you give oral bacteria to feed and proliferate on your teeth and gums. When sugar-hungry bacteria are fed often, they multiply quicker and increase your chances of developing gingivitis, bad breath, and cavities.
Keep a mini brush and tube of toothpaste with you for oral care on the go.
Sneak away at the staff holiday party and weekend-long family gatherings to tend to your teeth! We always recommend brushing a minimum of twice per day, but cleaning your teeth thoroughly after drinking alcoholic beverages or eating heavy meals or sugary snacks will make a big difference toward reducing plaque bacteria buildup that leads to bad breath, gingivitis, enamel erosion, and all sorts of other oral health issues. Check out this blog Top 6 Practices Required For Good Oral Health.
Schedule a professional dental cleaning and whitening for after the holidays.
Enjoy yourself during the holidays, do your best to protect your teeth, and let us take care of the rest! Rest assured knowing that any sugar binge or acid overload during the holidays won’t jeopardize your teeth for long—and extra deep cleaning is a great way to start the new year with your best smile! Before you attempt at-home whitening, read this. Contact us to schedule your cleaning and checkup.
Happy Holidays from the Saskatoon oral health care team at NEESH!
Take care of eachother, and your teeth this holiday season. Read more about what to do in a dental emergency, and schedule your post-holiday dental appointment at NEESH Dental.