Keeping teeth healthy may seem like a simple matter of brushing, flossing, and visiting a dentist regularly. However, the holidays can wreak havoc on oral health for almost any patient. From sweet treats and acidic beverages to decreased preventive dental care time, more patients develop dental concerns like tooth decay and gum disease at the holidays than at any other time of the year. Before you follow up your glass of bubbly with a piece of pumpkin pie, take a few moments to read some tips from dentists about maintaining beautiful smiles this holiday season.
1 – RINSE BETWEEN SUGARY OR ACIDIC SNACKS & BEVERAGES
You don’t need to cut out sugary or acidic foods and beverages entirely this holiday season, but you should consume them in moderation as part of a healthy diet. You can also drink water or rinse your mouth out with water after you eat food that’s higher in sugar or acidity. This will limit the amount of time these products stay on the surfaces of teeth causing damage.
2 – PROTECT YOUR SMILE FROM STRESS-RELATED TEETH GRINDING
For many people, the holidays are stressful. If you suffer from stress related teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism), start by protecting your smile during sleep with a mouthguard. You can purchase a basic appliance from your local pharmacy if you don’t always experience bruxism. However, a custom appliance may be better for those who regularly grind and clench their teeth. You may also want to consider scheduling in some quiet time, a massage, or simply taking something off your plate to relieve the stress of the holidays.
3 – DON’T NEGLECT THE BASICS
You should be brushing for at least two minutes at a time at least two times each day. Floss daily to remove plaque and tartar between teeth. During the holidays, you may want to consider brushing or your using an antimicrobial, fluoridated mouth rinse between meals.
4 – CHEW SUGARLESS GUM
Chewing sugarless gum between meals is a great option, if you don’t have time to brush or rinse out your mouth. Sugarless gums, especially if they contain xylitol, will remove leftover food particles, prevent the formation of plaque buildup, and keep your smile healthy.
5 – VISIT YOUR TRUSTED DENTIST FOR A CHECKUP
If you don’t already have one of your annual dental checkups scheduled for the holiday season, you might want to consider shifting your treatment schedule. An exam and teeth cleaning at the end of the year will help to prevent any concerns caused by increased consumption of less healthy foods and allow you to use up any remaining dental insurance benefits.
MEET THE DENTAL TEAM
At Dr. Aaronson & Associates, we offer patients a wide range of dental services, and if you need our help this holiday season, please give us a call. We’re here to help when your third Christmas cookie turns into a toothache or your New Year’s champagne toast causes dental sensitivity. We’re conveniently located in Midtown East, and we welcome patients form NYC, and all surrounding areas. Keep your smile bright this holiday season with dental checkup and teeth cleaning at Dr. Aaronson & Associates.