From pies and cookies to eggnog and red wine, there is no shortage of delicious food and drink during the holiday season. Although these festive and sugary items will delight your taste buds and stomach, your teeth are another story. Ensure that your first task of the New Year is not booking an appointment with a dentist. Follow these 5 steps to keep your pearly whites in top shape over the holidays.
1. Be Conscious of What You are Drinking
Red and white wines are arguably necessary evils during the stress of the holidays. They are both also infamous for causing severe teeth erosion. Instead, while at events, it is a good idea to opt for vodka or gin beverages. If you really need a mixer, attempt to avoid soda since it wears the acid off of your teeth.
If possible, always use a straw to minimize damage. Another culprit of teeth staining is Coffee. It is of great help keeping you up on those late nights of decorating or wrapping your presents. However, it is another culprit of teeth staining. Try to limit consumption of coffee. Afterward, make sure to brush your teeth thoroughly.
2. Avoid Chewy Desserts and Hard Candies
Peanut brittle, caramel corn, and gingerbread houses are among the list of sweets available during the holidays. The problem is that such foods will stick to your teeth for extended periods of time. Candy canes are especially plentiful. They dissolve slowly and will contribute to teeth erosion. They can even crack a tooth if you bite down too hard. If you find yourself unable to resist these snacks, make sure to alternate with other healthier hor d’oeuvres, such as sliced vegetables or fruit.
3. Do Not Open Nuts With Your teeth
An iconic Christmas song mentions “chestnuts roasting on an open fire”. It should come as no surprise that it is a common tradition set out bowls of nuts at holiday gatherings. Many of these nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, and pecans, are hidden inside tough shells.
Attempting to open these nuts with your teeth is a very risky move. They are best avoided by using a nutcracker, which is easy to use. They are, in fact, functional and not solely for decorative purposes. An emergency trip to the dentist is not on anyone’s wish list this season.
4. Do Not Open Gifts (or Bottles) With Your Teeth
Many toys and electronics these days come packaged in seemingly impossible to open plastic casings. Opening gifts is an exciting time. It is easy, especially for children, to become overwhelmed with excitement, and eager play with what is inside.
Do not open packaging with your teeth. Rather, do yourself and your family a favor, and use scissors or a Swiss Army knife to battle such obstacles. Similarly, when at holiday functions, make a conscious effort to only use bottle openers. This will help avoid chipping your teeth.
5. Keep Teeth Cleaning Tools Handy
The Boy Scout’s motto states, “be prepared.” The holiday season is full of parties, get-togethers, and the notion of throwing caution to the wind. The best way to not let good hygiene habits slide is by staying organized and planning ahead. If you foresee a long night out with the potential to overindulge with drinks and sweets, be sure to pack a travel toothbrush and floss. No one will judge you for maintaining that beautiful smile.
When it comes to the holidays, the focus is on family, friends, and togetherness. The health of your teeth likely is not on the top of your mind. Be conscious of how you are treating them this season. This will mitigate minor issues like cavities and staining. It will prevent major complications like chipping and cracking.
No major lifestyle changes are necessary. Keep a few mindful tactics in your back pocket. Limit your consumption of wine, soda, and coffee. Additionally, use a straw whenever you can. Avoid sweets that will stick to your teeth, and opt for some healthy snacks when possible. Do not open nuts, packages, or bottles with your teeth. Be sure to keep teeth cleaning tools on your person, at all times. If everything else fails, stuff the stockings with brand new toothbrushes and mouthwash.