This is the time of year that we have all been looking forward to! Whether you’re eager to string lights around your home, sing along to your favorite festive jingles, or bake up some old family recipes, you’re in for an exciting season. However, you certainly don’t want to be starting out the new year with a mouthful of cavities. Here are some tips to help you keep your smile in excellent health throughout the holidays.
Keep Up Excellent Oral Hygiene
If you are traveling or just going to be all over the place, it can be easy to fall off your normal oral hygiene routine. Be sure to continue brushing twice and flossing at least once every day. Another excellent step is to use mouthwash to rinse away food particles that have been left in your mouth. If you are traveling, don’t forget to pack your toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss.
It’s important that you stay hydrated. As much as you’d love to have a can of soda or glass of wine, these beverages can be harmful for your oral health. If you want to have something fizzy, try a sparking water instead. For a more tooth-friendly adult beverage, gin and tonic or light beer is an excellent alternative.
Cut Back on Sugar
It’s great to have a treat now and again, but be careful not to overindulge during this time of year. There seems to be sweet treats all around us, like eggnog, candy canes, and gingerbread. Just try to limit the number or sweets you are having. If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, try some fresh fruit or sugar-free gum instead. When you do have something with lots of sugar, brush your teeth afterwards.
Make Wholesome Choices
The good news is that not all holiday foods are bad news for your teeth. Many of them have excellent nutrients that your body can benefit from. Save a large portion of your plate for turkey, which contains phosphorus and protein, and vegetables. Broccoli and carrots are high in vitamin A. Another idea is to start out your dinner with a cheese board for an appetizer. Dairy products are high in calcium, which is necessary to keep your teeth and bones strong. If you want something salty, try seasoned nuts.
Don’t Use Your Teeth as Teeth
While it’s tempting, don’t use your teeth to pop bottles or open stubborn packages. You could easily end up with a cracked or chipped tooth and needing to see an emergency dentist. Instead, try to find the proper tool or ask someone else for help.
No one wants to start out their new year undergoing emergency dental care. Use the tips listed above and ensure that you’re up to date with your regular checkups. This way, you can enjoy the holiday season while maintaining a healthy smile!
About the Author
Dr. Eduart Shkurti earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the prestigious University of Southern California before completing a year-long residency at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY. Currently, he is an active member of the American Dental Association, New York Dental Society, and Astoria County Dental Society. He is also a supporter of Doctors without Borders©. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (718) 806-1662.