It’s the end of the year and the season for holiday parties and family gatherings! It’s the perfect time to catch up with old friends, meet up with family, and spend time with your loved ones. Unfortunately, this season of get-togethers is the worst time of year for your oral health. Crazy schedules, constant snacking, sugary treats everywhere, and even wrapping paper are all bad news for your dental well-being and can sometimes even cause a dental emergency. So how can you keep your teeth happy and healthy while still enjoying all the festivities? The best way is to see your dentist before all the parties to prevent problems before they start. After that, you can follow these tips from your Brampton dentist to protect your dental health while you enjoy gatherings all season long!
The Naughty and Nice List of Holiday Foods
It’s no surprise that you won’t find any sugary foods on a dentist’s nice list. However, some holiday foods are more important to stay away from than others, like:
- Sticky treats like caramels and fruit cakes can stick to and damage your fillings and crowns.
- Hard foods like candy canes might damage your teeth as you chew on them.
- Sugary drinks like hot chocolate and eggnog that coat your teeth with sugar.
Instead, try smile-friendly snacks, like carrots, celery or other fibrous veggies that help clear out leftover food particles. Calcium- and protein-rich foods can build up and strengthen your enamel and support oral health.
Party Tricks for Healthier Teeth
For many of us, the holidays wouldn’t be the same without a sugar cookie or other traditional holiday treat. However, the longer sugar stays on your teeth the more damage it can do. To keep sugars from lingering:
- Keep a toothbrush with you for a quick, convenient clean whenever you get a chance.
- Eat treats with food, not after so less sugary foods can help scrub your teeth.
- Stay hydrated to keep your enamel strong and wash away leftover food particles.
Seasonal Safety Tips for Oral Health
When maintaining your dental wellbeing at holiday parties, food isn’t the only thing to look out for. You might be excited to unwrap your presents or open that bottle of wine, but your teeth aren’t all-purpose tools. Using your teeth on ribbons, plastics, and bottles caps can all seriously damage your teeth under the right circumstances, so slow down and use your scissors.
While exciting, the holidays can also be a stressful time of year for many of us. Sometimes this stress will cause bruxism, or the grinding and clenching of your teeth at night. The nightly extra pressure can wear down your enamel and even crack your teeth, so take a moment to unwind or use a night guard.
This might be the toughest season for your oral wellbeing, but you can follow these easy tips to maintain great dental health while enjoying all the holiday parties and get togethers!
About the Author
Dr. Vince Fava is a preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentist based in Brampton, ON. He obtained his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Toronto and is a member of several associations, including the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario. His practice focuses on providing people with beautiful, healthy smiles all year long, even during the holidays. If you’d like to know more about the article you just read, he can be reached at his website or at (905)792-7163.