As your schedule gets busier and busier and the holidays draw closer, you may find yourself skipping out on parts of your oral hygiene routine. While we know how much you want to enjoy your time with loved ones, it is still essential to maintain great oral hygiene throughout the holiday season if you don’t want to deal with unfortunate consequences afterward.
Our team at Mills River Family Dental has several tips for maintaining great oral hygiene throughout the holiday season. If you are trying to stay prepared for this year’s holiday season and want to ensure you have the brightest smile and best oral hygiene routine at the holiday dinner table, keep reading to hear some of our advice.
1. Limit Your Candy Consumption
During the holiday season, everyone seems to have a bit of candy to offer you. While we know it’s tempting to take every candy cane and chocolate treat someone offers you, you should know when to say no thank you. Not only are these treats sugar-rich and not the best for your teeth, they are also incredibly hard and potentially very damaging.
If you take a bite into a hard candy cane, there is a chance that you may crack or chip weaker teeth. To maintain great oral hygiene throughout the holidays, ensure you are limiting your consumption of candy. If you want a candy cane, don’t bite down on the hard coating, and ensure you are rinsing your mouth or brushing your teeth afterward to prevent sugar from sitting in your mouth, eating away at the enamel on your teeth.
2. Drink Plenty Of Water
With delicious sparkling ciders and glasses of eggnog present at every holiday party, it is hard not to indulge just a little. If you are going to drink these holiday treats, that is absolutely fine. You should enjoy the treats these holidays have to offer. However, you should ensure you are still drinking plenty of water in between glasses of these holiday beverages.
Drinking water will ensure food particles left in your mouth after eating get washed away before they stick to your teeth. The water also dilutes the acids in your mouth that are responsible for tooth decay. Whether the food and beverages you eat could stain your teeth or wear out your enamel, drinking water is a great way to maintain great oral hygiene and keep your teeth safe.
3. Stick To Your Standard Routine
One of the easiest ways to maintain great oral hygiene throughout the holidays is by sticking to a routine that you are already familiar with. This means that you should continue brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day as usual. While the timing might be different to accommodate coming home late after a holiday party, the act should be the same.
We know that it can be difficult to stick to a routine when your schedule is abnormal, but it is essential for ensuring the health of your teeth and gums. Even if you feel a little tired, make sure you are thoroughly brushing for at least two minutes to remove any harmful plaque or food particles from the inside of your mouth. By the end of the holiday season, you’ll be thankful that you kept this routine up.
4. Don’t Use Your Teeth To Tear Things Open
With so many gifts and packages to open over the holiday season, it is reasonable to assume that, at least once, you may use your teeth to try to open them. However, it is absolutely essential that you avoid these kinds of activities, as they can be harmful to your teeth in several ways if you are not careful.
Sure, our teeth can be incredibly strong. But, after activities like eating, the enamel on your may soften just a bit, making your teeth more susceptible to damage. Using your teeth to open packages may result in chipped or cracked teeth. If you need to open a package, look for a pair of scissors or a box cutter; it is essential if you want to maintain great oral hygiene.
5. Carry Some Sugar-Free Gum
The holidays are often known for fresh, homemade sweet treats. Whether you’re at a holiday party or exchanging thoughtful gifts with your neighbors, it is likely that you’ll run into a sweet treat or two. While we certainly don’t want you to give up every holiday sweet that comes your way, it is important to curb the cravings if you want to maintain great oral hygiene.
To help stop the cravings, you should ensure you carry a pack of sugar-free gum. The sugar-free gum is a great way to protect your teeth from the harmful effects of sugar. Additionally, chewing gum helps promote the production of saliva, which is great for strengthening teeth, preventing plaque acid, and reducing tooth decay.
6. Keep An Oral Hygiene Kit On Hand
As we mentioned above, it is essential to maintain your standard oral hygiene routine throughout the holidays to keep up great oral hygiene. But that is easier said than done when you are especially busy, running from party to party or spending time with your family. One easy way to maintain great oral hygiene throughout the holidays is by keeping an oral hygiene kit on hand.
This kit may include a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss. By keeping these items within reach, you are more likely to remember to use them. It is important to remember to give your enamel about 30 minutes to harden after activities like eating before brushing, as premature brushing may cause more damage to your teeth.
7. Schedule A Post-Holiday Dental Appointment
If you are worried about your oral hygiene this holiday season, one great way to ensure you maintain it is by scheduling a post-holiday follow-up appointment with your dentist. By scheduling this appointment, you guarantee that any damage done to your teeth over the holidays may be treated as soon as possible.
Many medical providers, including dentists, find themselves much busier at the start of the new year. If you schedule this appointment ahead of time, you don’t need to worry about waiting weeks or even months before getting in to see your dentist. Make sure to schedule your post-holiday appointment before the holidays start to maintain great oral hygiene.
Maintaining Great Oral Hygiene With Mills River Family Dental
Maintaining great oral hygiene year-round is essential for healthy teeth and gums. When your teeth and gums begin to suffer, everyday activities can become unbearable. If you want to avoid this everyday discomfort, you should work with a dentist you can trust. At Mills River Family Dental, our team is ready to help you through any post-holiday dental problems.
From general dentistry to emergency services, our team is ready to do it all. If you are interested in scheduling a post-holiday dental appointment or would like to speak to a member of our team, contact us today.