While many people are worried about weight gain over the holiday season, it’s also important to take care of your oral health this time of year. For many of us, with the holidays come unwelcome stress and the temptation to indulge in sugary foods that can be bad for our teeth. Fortunately, we’ve put together a few tips on how to have a healthy smile for the holidays.
Take Steps to Fight Tooth Decay
The bacteria in your mouth love sugar, so when you indulge in a candy cane, cookie, or other sugary holiday treat, you’re giving that bad bacteria the fuel it needs to potentially cause cavities. Try to shy away from sugary snacks as much as possible; if you know you’re going to give into temptation, brush your teeth shortly afterwards (or, at the very least, rinse with mouthwash). A little prevention can go a long way.
Avoid Drinks That Stain/Damage Teeth
Wine and other acidic beverages often flow like water at holiday parties, and these can be damaging to your teeth in several ways. For starters, acidic beverages gradually wear away tooth enamel, which can result in hot/cold sensitivity as well as a greater risk of tooth decay. Some beverages, such as red wines, can also stain teeth. If you indulge in these beverages this holiday season, at least alternate your drinks with glasses of water to help prevent staining and enamel wearing.
Work to Reduce Holiday Stress
The holidays can be a stressful time for many; and for some people, stress and anxiety leads to unhealthy teeth grinding. If you’re one of many people who has a tendency to grind or clench your teeth when stressed, now would be a good time to get fitted for a mouth guard, which you can wear while you sleep to protect your teeth from damage, such as cracking and chipping. Taking steps to reduce your stress during the holidays (whether through exercise, meditation, or anything in between) can also help.
Don’t Forget Your Dental Exam!
Last but not least, remember that you should have two dental exams a year to maximize your oral health! If you’re overdue for an exam, contact our team at Henson Family Dental to schedule your appointment before the end of the year! We’ll get your teeth cleaned up so your smile looks its brightest for those holiday parties.