dental tips

12 Simple Dental Tips for Holiday Care

 

According to the ADA (American Dental Association) 97% of the population worldwide is affected by tooth decay during their lifetime. In fact, this means that almost all adults find themselves with a cavity at some point in their lives. Many of us will actually have several cavities over the course of our lifetime.

The exact frequency with which you get cavities does depend on a variety of factors. Although genetics and luck may play a part, so do our oral health habits. 

For example, brushing your teeth regularly, flossing, and avoiding sugary snacks are all great ways to prevent cavities. 

Unfortunately, there are a variety of things that can distract or prevent us from following up on our healthy habits. Holidays like Christmas and New Year’s can distract us with an abnormal amount of sugary foods and changes to our daily routine.

Considering all that, we’ve put together a list of tips to keep your teeth healthy during the holidays.

Dental Tips

The most important thing to keep in mind is consistency. Try to follow these tips on a daily basis.

Dental Check Up

1 – Book your dental check-ups and cleanings well ahead of time.

The holidays are an extra busy time for dentists. This means that you may not be able to find an available slot for your annual check-up when you need it. So, the best policy is to book well ahead of time. This way, you’re less likely to find yourself in a situation where you’re well overdue for your dental visit.

2 – Check on your dental insurance.

Many insurance plans reset at the beginning of the year. This means if you still have benefits or unused funds leftover, they may expire on January 1st. It’s a good idea to call your insurance company and check on this. If you do have unused benefits expiring, you might want to book your appointments before the benefits reset for the year. 

How To Keep Your Teeth Healthy

Aside from visiting your dentist, however, there are a few other things you can do to protect your teeth from unnecessary damage during the holiday season.

3 – Brush Often

Although brushing your teeth is a must at any time of year, this is especially true during the holidays. Not only do you need to stick to your normal regimen, but it’s also a good idea to brush after eating or drinking. Many of us tend to eat a lot during the winter holidays. Family and plenty of sweet desserts tend to create an “eating environment.” It’s important to keep in mind that cavities are caused by food and bacteria. Due to this, it is always best practice to brush your teeth after eating and drinking.

4 – Don’t Forget To Pack Your Dental Care Supplies

One of the most commonly forgotten items when packing for a vacation is… the toothbrush! Try to pack dental essentials the night before, and don’t leave out anything – floss, toothpaste, toothbrush, as well as any oral rinse products that you need. These small things are likely to be forgotten in the rush of travel, leading to bad oral health practices.

5 – Avoid Foods That Stain Teeth

teeth stains

Mulled wine and coffee drinks are definitely a delicious staple of winter holidays. Keep in mind, however, that tasty does not necessarily equal good for your teeth. There are many foods that are more likely to stain your teeth. It is usually best to avoid these if white teeth are a priority.

Here are some examples of foods and beverages that can stain teeth:

  • Coffee
  • Wine
  • Tea
  • Sodas 
  • Berries
  • Icing with food coloring

 

6 – Clear Drinks And Liquids

As mentioned above, dark drinks are often the biggest culprits for staining teeth. The best choice is to avoid colored drinks and to choose light or clear-colored drinks such as, water or seltzers instead.

7 – Avoid Foods That Cause Cavities

Bacteria feeds on sugary and starchy foods, producing plaque that can erode the enamel creating cavities over time. Due to this, sugar is generally considered bad for your teeth. In addition, chewy, hard, and acidic foods can cause permanent damage as well. 

Here are some examples of foods that can cause permanent damage to your teeth:

  • Taffy
  • Cookies
  • Juices
  • Soda
  • Jawbreakers
  • Ice Cream
  • Sweet Teas
  • All candy!

And much more…

8 – Try Not To Snack

Generally speaking, the longer sugar particles remain on your teeth, the more chances bacteria have to feed on them and cause damage to your enamel. Brushing your teeth in between meals and after snacking during the holidays a good practice.

9 – Healthier Food Options

We know that it’s hard to resist indulging in sweets during the holidays. It’s the season for eggnog and sticky buns, after all! Having said that, it is best to resist as much as possible. Instead of sugary foods and drinks, snack on vegetables, meats, or even cheeses. These are all better options for your oral health.

10 – Stay Away From Hard and Sticky Foods

Surprisingly, foods on both ends of this spectrum can be bad for you. Sticky foods such as taffy can get