Dental Hygiene and the Holidays

dental hygiene and the holidays

After a long year, many of us are looking forward to the festive season. This is a magical time, with so many different holidays and celebrations spanning December and into January. With all the fun events going on and so much joy in the air, it’s easy to let ‘real-life’ slip away for a while. In many ways, that’s a good and wonderful thing, but even during this time of merriment, we should all remember to take care of our teeth. So how can you resolve the needs of dental hygiene and the holidays? We’ll go over some tips, tricks, and habits you can implement in order to keep your teeth and gums happy during the most wonderful time of the year.

Stick with a good brushing and flossing routine, even during the celebrations. This time of the year can upend our routines, hopefully in the very best way. Freed of our regular schedules, surrounded by good food and drink, and with so much joy in the air it’s easy to let daily cares fall by the wayside. While that may make for a good holiday or a good vacation, you should go out of your way to maintain some portions of your routine, especially regular brushing, flossing, and mouthwash use. These are the foundational practices for good oral health, both during the holidays and the rest of the year.

Find time to see your dentist before the New Year. This, for many of us, may be the perfect time of the year to see a dentist or an oral health care provider. We can get in one last exam and cleaning before the holidays, when your dentist may be unavailable. In addition, depending on your health insurance, you may have unused benefits available that you’ll want to take advantage of before everything resets in the New Year. For the sake of your peace of mind and your wallet, book an appointment today.

Be aware of the oral health risk associated with holiday foods. Many of the special dishes we make at this time of the year can pose some danger to our teeth. Hard items like nuts, peanut brittle, and other hard confections are leading causes of broken teeth. Sticky treats, like fudge and caramel, can lodge themselves between the teeth and cause cavities. You don’t need to avoid these items entirely, but rather that you should be smart in how you approach them. Use a nutcracker to open nuts, break toffee or peanut brittle into smaller pieces, and rinse your mouth out after enjoying a sticky caramel. Paired with a good brushing and flossing routine, you’ll have healthy teeth going into the new year.

Maintain a (sort of) healthy diet. This is the prime time of the year for indulgence–maybe some overindulgence. While that’s not entirely a bad thing, you should temper it with the need to maintain a healthy diet year-round. It’s ok to enjoy delicious holiday foods, but you should try to remember the effect they can have on your teeth and your overall health. With that in mind, temper your consumption accordingly. Excess sugars and starches can contribute to tooth decay, so make sure you’re including some healthy options like salads in your holiday spread.

It’s been a long and eventful year, and all of us at Plage Dentistry wish you the very best of the season. Here’s to a happy holiday time, and a bright new year ahead!