How to Maintain Good Oral Hygiene During the Holidays
The holiday season surrounds us all with friends and family, as well as delicious food and drink, seemingly around the clock! Turkeys, cookies, hams, pies, briskets, latkes, cheese plates, dumplings…not to mention the special toasts to the season of every shade. It can be challenging to maintain dental health with all these sumptuous challenges on every side, but Park 56 Dentistry can you navigate the holiday season with oral hygiene in mind. Here are our top tips.
- Keep Flossers Handy
Simple, inexpensive, and discrete, pocket flosser picks are the ideal solution for holiday parties, whether you’re hosting or spending a few hours at the office, the neighbors, a family party, or going out with friends. Stash a few in your favorite jacket, purse, or wallet, so you never have to have that less-than-fresh feeling in the midst of a celebration.
- Limit Your Exposure to Key Types of Food
It’s easier said than done, I know, but if you want to avoid dental damage, then you might want to limit your enjoyment of various kinds of foods, or at least know how best to enjoy them without damaging your teeth. These include:
- Sugary Foods: Sugar increases bacterial activity in your mouth, so be prepared to brush often if you have a hankering for sweets.
- Hard Foods: Think candy canes, nuts, and ice. Let the candies and ice melt in your mouth instead of using your teeth to crunch them up. Enjoy the roasted nuts, but don’t overdo it. It might seem like a good idea at the time, but these dense treats can take a toll on your teeth, eroding them and potentially causing cracks or chips.
- Dark Beverages: Red wine, coffee, hot cocoa, and cosmos are all delights of the season, but they can darken your teeth as well. If a whitened smile is important to you, then think before you drink and select light-colored or clear beverages.
- Chew Sugar-Free Gum
In addition to giving you a break from snacking and freshening your breath, a stick of gum can inspire your salivary glands to help out cleaning your mouth. Saliva neutralizes acids and helps purge bacteria from your mouth and teeth.
- Nibble Some Cheese
Although it might not be the best choice for your waistline during a period of the year known for fattening treats, noshing on bites of cheese in between sips of acidic beverages like soda and wine can raise the pH level of your mouth and prevent your teeth from suffering acidic enamel damage.
- Stay Hydrated
There are many reasons why it’s a good idea to refill your cup with water in between other types of beverages, but one of these is that water helps clean your mouth of food and bacteria, as well as keeping you feeling your best.
The holiday season doesn’t have to sideline your dental health awareness. By following these tips, you can make sure you enter your new year without the regrets of cavities, stained teeth or dental injury. While you’re thinking about it, contact Park 56 Dentistry to schedule your winter cleanings before and after the holidays, and keep your smile vibrant.
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