It’s the holiday season once again! While celebrating in 2020 may be somewhat different for you and your family than previous years, it’s still a wonderful time to enjoy the company of our loved ones, eat delicious holiday foods, and remember what we’re thankful for. Unfortunately, the fall and winter seasons are notoriously tough on oral health. Keep these six simple but effective tips in mind to maintain a happy, healthy smile well into the new year.
1.) Make Time for the Basics
Do you plan on starting your festivities early in the day, or celebrating well into the night? If so, don’t forget about your daily dental habits. Simply brushing and flossing your teeth every day can go a tremendously long way in preventing dental emergencies that could interrupt your holidays.
2.) Avoid Foods on the Naughty List
It’s no secret that this time of year is filled with foods that are bad for your teeth. As you fill up your plate, do your best to avoid or limit items like:
- Hard foods, including hard candy and nuts, since these can weaken or chip your teeth.
- Sticky treats, such as taffy or caramel apples, which can dislodge dental fillings or crowns.
- Sugary and acidic drinks, like alcohol or eggnog, that coat your teeth in sticky, cavity-causing residue.
3.) Drink Plenty of Water
It’s always important to stay hydrated, but it’s an especially good idea around the holidays. Not only will it help you stay healthy, but drinking lots of water throughout the day will keep your teeth clean and lower your risk of cavities.
4.) Choose Smile-Friendly Snacks
While there are plenty of holiday foods that are bad for teeth, there are just as many that can improve your oral health as well! Make sure to fill up on foods with:
- Calcium, such as cheese and yogurt, which help rebuild enamel and strengthen teeth.
- Vitamin C, including cantaloupe and pineapple, since it promotes healthy gums.
- Fiber, like raw broccoli or apples, because these help scrub plaque off your teeth.
5.) Don’t Use Teeth As Tools
You may be excited to get into that gift, bottle, or bag of chips, but don’t resort to using your teeth! One wrong move can leave you heading to your emergency dentist with a chipped or broken tooth. Always keep the right tools handy so you’re not tempted to use your teeth.
6.) Don’t Forget to Visit Your Dentist
Has it been more than six months since your last dental checkup? Seeing your dentist twice a year is key for spotting and stopping oral health issues as early as possible. Make some room in your schedule to visit your dentist before the holidays to ensure your smile is ready for the festivities!
There are plenty of reasons to smile this holiday season, so don’t forget to take care of your oral health! Use these six easy tips to keep your pearly whites healthy and bright all year long.
About the Author
Dr. Peter F. Johnson of San Diego Dentures & Implant Specialists has been helping his patients achieve and maintain optimal oral health all year long for over 30 years. As a Board-Certified prosthodontist, Past-President of the American College of Prosthodontists, and active member of numerous prestigious dental organizations, he has years of advanced training and experience in helping every kind of smile. For more tips on how to take care of your oral health this holiday season, he can be reached via his website or at (619) 463-3737.