Top 10 Dental Tips for the Holidays

dental care

The holiday season is just around the corner, and with all your focus on spending time and having fun with loved ones, it’s easy to overlook the importance of taking care of your teeth. Nevertheless, with an abundance of treats around and the temptation to indulge your sweet tooth is greater than ever, there is never a better time to make sure that your oral hygiene is up to scratch.

With that in mind, here are our top ten dental tips for this holiday season.

1. Choose White Wine Over Red

If you can, choose white wine instead of red this holiday season. This is because red wine contains tannins that can stain your teeth over time, even if you think you are brushing them well. White wine is a much better choice for you to maintain the brightness of your smile.

2. Limit Candy

It’ll come as no surprise that dentists everywhere will be recommending their patients to limit their sugar intake as much as possible over the holiday season. Anything containing sugar can increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

3. Fizzy Drinks

Fizzy drinks like soda are a common cause of dental decay, and not only because of the sugar they contain. Many are also highly acidic, causing dental erosion that increases your risk of toothache and damage to your smile. Try and avoid fizzy drinks where possible, or if you simply can’t resist the lure of the bubbles, opt for fizzy water instead.

4. Alcohol and Cheese

Many people enjoy an alcoholic drink or two during the festive season, but sadly alcohol is usually extremely acidic which is bad news for our teeth. However, you may be surprised to learn that pairing alcohol with cheese could limit the effects that it has on your teeth. This is because dairy is alkaline, counteracting the acidic nature of alcoholic drinks and offering protection to your teeth.

5. Raw Veggies Over Cooked

Vegetables may not be at the top of the list of things you want to eat during the holidays. Nevertheless, they are a staple in most meals. If they are cooked so that they are still formed, or offered raw, they can also benefit your oral health. That’s because the harder they are, the more abrasive they will be when you chew them, and this abrasion can have a cleaning action that removes plaque from the teeth and helps to keep them healthy.

6. Don’t Use Your Teeth as Tools

Whether it is tearing off strips of sticky tape, opening boxes, or taking the tops off of beer bottles, you should never, ever use your tools as teeth. Doing so can cause damage including fractures and chips that could cause pain, weaken your tooth structure, and require expensive repair.

7. Keep Your Toothbrush Nearby

If you plan on spending the holiday attending one party after another, you can easily be distracted from your oral health. However, keeping a teeth-cleaning kit with you means that you have easy access to everything that you need to stay on top of your oral health.

8. Don’t Go to Bed Without Brushing

All dentists recommend that patients brush their teeth at least twice every day, ideally first thing in the morning after breakfast, and again before bed. They should also floss daily. Morning brushing allows any plaque that has formed overnight to be effectively removed while brushing before bed helps to dislodge any particles of food as well as plaque and remove them from your mouth. It doesn’t matter how tired you are, you should always make sure to brush and floss your teeth.

9. Forfeit the Snacking

Many of us are guilty of spending all day long grazing on leftover holiday foods and snacks. Unfortunately, snacking is proven to put teeth at greater risk of decay. Instead, you should try and only put food out at mealtimes and stash it away when you’ve finished eating.

10. Schedule an Appointment With Your Dentist

Even the most diligent person can get a little lax with their dental care over the holidays. For this reason, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with your dentist and hygienist in the New Year. Your dentist can check that there’s no damage to your teeth that’s occurred over the holiday season, while your hygienist can make sure you start the year right by giving you a professional dental clean that leaves you with a bright and healthy smile.

For more dental tips for the holidays, or to schedule an appointment to talk to our experienced dental team, visit Eagle Gate Dental in Salt Lake City, Utah. Call 801-781-5300 to schedule an appointment today.