The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is already upon us. And while it may generally be a festive and jolly time of the year, it can be anything but for you and your family’s teeth. Unfortunately for teeth, holiday sweets and treats can take their toll and hectic schedules leave them neglected. Here are some tips from a family dentist for keeping your family’s teeth healthy during the holiday season.
- After indulging in holiday treats, such as cookies, candy canes or chocolates, drink a glass of water or chew a piece of sugarless gum. This helps wash away and prevent cavity-causing bacteria that can form due to the sugar found in these holiday treats. Of course, this is no substitute for brushing and flossing, but it buys you time between brushes or when you can’t brush your teeth.
- Limit the number of festive drinks that are consumed. While water may be your normal go-to drink, it is so easy to consume a variety of festive drinks during the holiday season that most of us reach for those instead. Peppermint coffees, hot chocolate, apple cider and alcoholic beverages can all wear down enamel or cause staining. Limit the number of acidic or staining drinks you or your family consume to one per day. Also, consider changing to a toothpaste with baking soda to fight off any stains that may begin appearing due to these holiday temptations.
- Don’t put off dental treatments because you are busy. Sadly, it is not uncommon for people to put off necessary dental treatments until after the holidays. It may be because of money or it may be because of time constraints. But either way, you may be doing more damage by waiting. If you are experiencing any dental problems, see your family dentist right away. Don’t let the holidays be an excuse for putting off the care you need.
- Talk with your dental office about emergency care. Popcorn can cause a cracked tooth, chewy caramel can pull a crown right off, or a child can fall off their new holiday bike and knock their tooth right out. All of these conditions require emergency dental care. However, many offices are closed on or around the holidays or have limited hours. Therefore, it is important to call your family dentistry office a few weeks before the holidays and ask them what happens if you or a family member have an emergency. They may refer you to an office that they know will be open or give you an emergency contact number. Having this information before an emergency happens can save you valuable time in the event of a dental emergency.