With the holiday season upon us, your head is sure to be filled with visions of dancing sugar plums and other tasty delicacies. Your taste buds have likely been anticipating these savory moments all year long, but your teeth and gums might feel differently.
By following these simple dental tips, you can enjoy all of your favorite holiday season treats without compromising your white and healthy smile.
Incorporate Teeth-Healthy Foods
Balance out the bad with teeth-friendly foods. The crisp texture of crunchy fruits and vegetables can help wipe away plaque-causing bacteria on your teeth. They can also increase the production of saliva, which helps neutralize bacteria in your mouth. The best tooth-healthy foods for your teeth are:
- Leafy greens
Avoid The Most Damaging
It can be tough to say no to traditional once-a-year treats including the ever-present candy canes. However, if you can visualize an expensive dental filling charge whenever you see one, it might help deter you while you look for a safer alternative. Sticky, hard, chewy, gummy or sugary sweets are no friend to your teeth and gums.
Make an Extra Effort to Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water each day has so many health benefits, and this is especially true during the holidays.
Skin Perfecting. Water can help you look and feel your best by keeping your skin looking fresh, hydrated and blemish-free.
Weight Loss. Attack of the sudden sweet tooth? Water can help to curb your appetite by filling you up. Drinking a glass of water before meals and snacks will help to control your appetite, so you don’t have to add “go on a diet” to your New Year’s Resolutions list.
Teeth Cleaning. Water also aids in freshening your breath by washing away harmful bacteria. Cleaning away freshly formed bacteria on your teeth can also keep you from waking up with a holiday toothache.
Choose Light-Colored or Clear Beverages
Don’t invest time and money into teeth whitening and brightening all year long only to have them become discolored from dark beverages. Red wines and cranberry cocktails can quickly undo all of your hard work in getting your smile bright. Opt for light-colored or clear drinks that are just as tasty and won’t leave your teeth looking anything but white.
Commit To Your Oral Hygiene Routine
Set an intention to stick to your oral health routine throughout the next few months. Achieving healthy teeth takes a lifetime of care, so take the right steps towards a healthy smile every day.
Your daily hygiene routine should consist of:
Brushing. Ideally, you should be brushing after every meal, but at the very least, twice a day will suffice. Make sure one of those brushing sessions is before you go to sleep at night. Brushing before bed gets rid of the germs and plaque that accumulate throughout the day. Brushing minimizes the accumulation of bacteria in your mouth, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Flossing. We all know how vital flossing is, but few of us do it consistently. The time it takes to floss is really worth it. Flossing will freshen your breath, prevent gum disease and save you from potential cavities and gum disease.
Brushing Your Tongue. Buildup on your tongue not only looks disgusting, but it’s the number one cause of bad breath. Giving your tongue a good scrub when you’re brushing your teeth can help. You can also invest in a tongue scraper for a complete clean.
Schedule Your Post-Holiday Checkup
Sometimes despite our best intentions, there will be times throughout the holiday season that you will skimp on your oral hygiene routine, or find yourself in a dental emergency. Schedule your post-holiday cleaning and exam with Hinsdale Dentistry so you can begin the new year with a healthy and cavity-free smile.