The holidays are here, which means you’re likely traveling to visit family and friends, making and enjoying delicious sweets and foods, and taking in the festivities! The last thing that’s likely on your mind is the health of your smile, but when you’re cognizant of the threat of decay and dental damage, you can avoid a stressful and unexpected visit to your dentist during the best time of year. Read on to learn three reasons why the holidays can be bad for your teeth and gums.
#1 Frequent Snacking During the Day
Holidays are best enjoyed with an abundance of freshly baked cookies, hams and turkeys, snacks, and other goodies that you may feel tempted to eat throughout the day. While snacking every now and then is completely fine, doing it routinely throughout November and December may prevent your saliva from being able to clean bacteria off your teeth and neutralize enamel eroding acid. This can lead to an increased risk of dental sensitivity and other common oral health problems.
#2 Eating More Sweets Than Usual
If you have a sweet tooth, you may find yourself indulging in pies and cookies throughout the holidays that you can’t have during the rest of the year. While satisfying your cravings isn’t always a bad thing, it’s a good idea to limit your sugar consumption over the holidays since harmful oral bacteria love feeding off of it. When the bacteria have access to sugars and carbs in the mouth, they produce waste in the form of sulfuric-smelling acid that can cause bad breath and cavities.
#3 Straying from Your Normal Routine
If you’re going out of town for the holidays, it may be tempting to skip flossing or brushing every now and then because your daily routine is switched up. This can lead to the accumulation of bacteria, plaque, and tartar in the mouth. By staying on top of your regular oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and regularly rinsing with zero-alcohol mouthwash, you can keep oral health problems at bay over the holidays.
Tips for Keeping Your Smile Healthy During the Holidays
The last thing you need on your plate during the holidays is an unexpected visit with your dentist. To keep this from happening, here are a few extra tips for a healthy holiday smile:
- Stay hydrated with water to wash away bacteria and food debris.
- Stick to your oral hygiene routine.
- Be mindful of not consuming excessive amounts of alcohol.
- Stick to holiday foods that aren’t high in sugars and carbohydrates.
- Visit your dentist for a checkup and cleaning before the holidays.
By being mindful of these three issues that make the holidays a dangerous time for your teeth and gums, you can take preventive steps to protect your smile and get the most out of your time with friends and family.
About the Author
Dr. Rodger Song has over 30 years of experience as a dentist and is passionate about helping his patients maintain smiles that are healthy and happy for a lifetime. He offers comprehensive dentistry under one roof for patients of all ages, from checkups and cleanings to clear orthodontic aligners. To ensure your smile stays healthy over the holidays, visit Bridlewood Dental’s website or call 972-906-9797 to schedule a checkup and cleaning.