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.
The most important thing to keep in mind is consistency. Try to follow these tips on a daily basis.
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 With These Dental Tips
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
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:
- 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:
- 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 stuck in your teeth, making it easy for bacteria to feed on them for long periods of time. On the opposite spectrum, very hard foods such as jawbreakers can chip and damage teeth, resulting in expensive dental costs down the road. Keep in mind that fixing a chipped tooth can cost you upwards of a few hundred dollars, depending on the procedures needed. It’s a good idea to take care of your teeth early on so that you can avoid costly visits to the dentist later down the road.
11 – Floss Regularly
Flossing is always a must, but it is even more important during holidays filled with lots of food. Although turkey is generally a healthier food option, it can get stuck in your teeth. That’s why it’s a good idea to floss whenever possible, getting those pesky bits of food out.
12 – Drink Plenty Of Water
Water is not only good for your body overall, but it’s also useful for rinsing out bits of food. Try to get plenty of water, especially if you do snack frequently during the holidays.
We hope that these tips will be helpful to you over the holidays. Above all, we wish you and your family a very happy holiday season. Remember to spend some time with your loved ones and get some much-needed rest.
Looking For A Dentist In The Tennessee Area or Want More Dental Tips?
Snodgrass-King Dental strives to provide the best dental care possible to the Tennessee area. We offer not only dental services for adults but for children as well! So you can come in for your dental check-up, while your child sits down for theirs.
We offer services such as fillings, crowns, extractions, braces, implants, teeth whitening, and much more. Our practice has locations all over Tennessee – including offices in Mt. Juliet, Murfreesboro, Franklin, and Cool Springs. So whether you live in Nashville or Mt. Juliet, we’ve got an office near you.
Above all, however, Snodgrass-King Dental values our patients. That’s why we strive to follow COVID-19 guidelines and provide a clean environment for patients. Our facilities are cleaned regularly, and our team follows hand-washing guidelines.
Still not convinced? Check out our reviews! Our patients absolutely love their dental office, and so do their kids. Here at Snodgrass-King Dental, we are very honored to be a beloved cornerstone of the Tennessee community. We care about our patients like nobody else, and our patients appreciate that about us.