10 Dentist-Approved Tips for a Healthy Holiday Smile
Men, women, and children around the world associate the holiday season with a highly anticipated medley of delicacies. From classic trifles and cranberry croissants to gingerbread cookies and over-the-top peppermint ice cream sandwiches — we look forward to sinking our teeth into every sweet moment. Meanwhile, those that will be doing the munching and chewing (a.k.a. our teeth and gums) are cowering in fear of the onslaught to come.
Dental Tips for a Healthy Smile During the Holiday Season
By being proactive and following these simple dental tips, you can still satisfy your sweet tooth during the holidays without succumbing to the most common dental problems.
1. Don’t Forget to Eat Teeth-Healthy Food
Even though Thanksgiving and beyond is the exclusive season for pumpkin pies and sugar cookies, be sure to eat nutritious food, too. Give yourself the freedom to enjoy the decadence of holiday pastries and treats, but also remember to add fruits and vegetables to your diet. For example, according to Colgate.com, eating raw carrots play a role in fighting cavities, acting as a natural toothbrush. Cheese, apples, celery, and leafy greens are other teeth-healthy foods that may improve the health of your mouth.
2. Avoid Eating Too Much of Certain Holiday Treats
While sticky, gummy, and extra-hard foods are delicious, they are your teeth and gums' worst nightmare. Holiday-staple candy canes, Tootsie Rolls, toffee, and even chestnuts roasting on an open fire are included in the list of dental caution foods.
Because it can be challenging to avoid these traditional once-a-year treats, what you can do is find the right balance. First, do not overindulge in tasty yet risky desserts. Second, ensure to follow the nine steps to achieving healthy teeth and gums all year long. If your sweet tooth is persistent, visualize getting a dental filling or a root canal in the New Year, which can serve as a powerful deterrent.
3. Brush and Floss Daily to Prevent the Onset of Tooth Decay
Just because you’re on holiday break does not mean you should take a vacation from your oral health routine, as well. Considering all the food and alcohol you may be consuming this season, following a dental care routine is more crucial than ever. Brushing after every meal and flossing daily may not be the most festive part of the holidays, but for your teeth and gums, it’s like going on a trip to Disneyland.
4. Put Down the Eggnog and Drink Plenty of Water Instead
Some things never change regardless of the season, one of which is drinking water. It has innumerable benefits, including freshening your breath, washing away bacteria in your mouth, and aiding digestion after a delightful feast. Plus, drinking eight glasses of water each day can combat your “fake” hunger and cravings, preventing the need to add “lose the holiday weight” to your New Year’s Resolutions again.
5. If You Must Drink Something Other Than H20, Choose Clear or Light-Colored Beverages
If you love your smile, the last thing you want is to wake up on Christmas or New Year’s morning and realize that your white teeth are now a pale shade of pink. Though red wine is believed to be a rich source of cancer-fighting antioxidants, it is also a potent tooth-stainer. Cranberry juice and dark-colored sodas cause the same discoloring effect on your teeth.
To keep your teeth bright and white this holiday season, drink clear or light-colored beverages instead. For instance, flavored sparkling water is a delicious drink that will not stain your brilliant smile.
6. If You Want to Chew Something Sweet, Opt for Cinnamon Gum
The contents of cinnamon gum include cinnamaldehyde, which is an essential oil that gives this chewy treat a crisp, spicy flavor. This ingredient not only wakes up your salivary glands, but in an article from ScienceNews.org, the researcher noted that cinnamaldehyde could eliminate cavity-forming bacteria. Cinnamon itself can likewise keep your breath minty fresh, which helps if you can’t resist onion soups and garlic-laden dips.
7. When You Drink Alcohol, Pair It with Cheese
Almost everyone loves a sip of bubbly during holiday celebrations. Unfortunately, adult beverages are infamous for their high acid content. Over time, excessive consumption of alcohol can wear away relentlessly at your tooth enamel. However, thanks to the extraordinary nature of food science, an all-time favorite pairing may neutralize the harsh effects of wine on your teeth.
Wine and cheese is a popular food combination for more reasons than you know. For example, because of the alkaline in dairy, nibbling on cheese can cut wine’s acid content without spoiling your holiday festivities.
8. Never Use Your Teeth to Pop-Open Beer Bottles or Tear Wrapping Papers
American model Hailey Bieber is notorious for opening beer bottles with her teeth. Although it’s a cool party trick, it can destroy your smile. Using your teeth to open Christmas gifts, packages, and other related activities can also ruin your teeth, resulting in cracking and breakage.
9. Bring a Teeth Cleaning Kit for Parties
If you are out and about, attending one holiday party after another, it becomes easier to neglect your oral health. Besides, the last thing you want to do after a night of fun is to brush your teeth, versus responding to the call of your bed.
The best compromise is to pack a teeth-cleaning kit that you can take to holiday parties with you. Your toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss can come in handy if you end up with spinach wedged between your two front teeth. If you are kissing at midnight on NYE, this rescue kit can also help freshen your breath.
10. Schedule Your Post-Holiday Checkup and Cleaning Today
The reality is, despite your best intentions and promises throughout the holiday season, there will be times when you forget to brush, floss, and do the things you need to keep your mouth healthy. The good news? You can schedule your post-holiday dental cleaning and check-up now, so you can keep your teeth clean, bright, and cavity-free from day 1 to 365 of the New Year.
Cunning Dental in Southern California invites you to complete this online form or call (855) 328-6646 to request a FREE dental appointment. Our dentists and specialists look forward to giving you the dental services you need.