Dental Health and the Holidays

dental holidays

It’s a magical time of the year, with so many of us celebrating various holidays which bring us together in our appreciation of family and the love that we share. While we all may be facing some additional challenges in finding safe ways to gather and rejoice this year, some things will always remain the same. Among them unfortunately is the toll that holiday festivities can take on your teeth. Amidst all the fun and celebration, some of the things we do to celebrate the holidays have a pronounced toll on your oral health. So with that in mind, we’d like to share some tips for keeping your teeth and gums healthy and happy during the holiday season and beyond.

Maintain a regular (and effective) brushing and flossing routine. The holidays can be a disruptive time, hopefully in the very best way. With some time away from our regular routines and various forms of social gatherings happening, it can be a time in which our day-to-day gets lost in the shuffle. While that’s part of what makes a good holiday or a good vacation, you should go out of your way to maintain some portions of your routine, including regular brushing, flossing, and mouthwash use. Nothing goes further to maintaining your oral health, both during the weeks to come and all year round.

See your dentist before the holidays. For all sorts of reasons, this may be the perfect time of the year to see your dentist or other oral health care provider. It’s a good time to get in one last exam and cleaning so that you’ll know you’re going into the holidays–when your dentist may be unavailable–without any problems looming. Depending on your health insurance, you may have unused benefits available that you’ll want to take advantage of before everything resets in the New Year. It’s all about peace of mind, and no leaving any money on the table, so book an appointment today.

Be careful with holiday foods. It’s a fact that many holiday foods, while delicious, can pose some danger to your teeth. Hard items like nuts, peanut brittle, and other hard confections can risk a broken tooth. Sticky sweets like fudge and caramel can remain lodged in your teeth and cause cavities. We’re not saying you should avoid these items entirely, but rather that you should be smart in how you approach them. Use a nutcracker to open nuts, break toffee or peanut brittle into smaller pieces, and rinse your mouth out after enjoying a sticky caramel. And as always, brush and floss regularly!

Stick with a healthy diet (mostly). The holidays are a prime time for indulgence, and maybe some overindulgence. That’s not always a bad thing, but you should temper it with the need to maintain a healthy diet year-round. While enjoying delicious holiday foods, remember the effect they can have on your teeth and your overall health and temper your response accordingly. Excess sugars and starches can contribute to tooth decay, so make sure you’re including some healthy options like salads in your holiday spread.

It’s a wonderful time of the year, and we hope you all find safe and healthy ways to celebrate the season. If you need a pre-holiday appointment, please contact our office right away and we’ll see what we can do to accommodate you. Until then, we wish you all the best of the season!