The holidays are filled with lots of fun activities—parties, traveling, and family gatherings. Yet sometimes we get so busy that the season seems more go-go-go than ho-ho-ho. When that occurs, good oral hygiene can fall by the wayside. Rather than see that happen, we have some tips for keeping you and your family’s teeth healthy this holiday season.
1. Commit to Teeth Cleaning
As we mentioned, it’s tempting to neglect your teeth when life gets hectic. However, you can overcome that tendency by simply deciding now—before the holiday craze gets into full swing—to do an exceptional job of caring for your teeth regardless of how busy or tired you are.
Set a goal of brushing for at least 2 minutes twice a day, and don’t forget about flossing daily, too. If you have children, monitor their brushing and flossing over the holidays to make sure they stay committed too. By setting an intention and sticking to it, you’ll find it much easier to keep everyone’s teeth on track.
2. Avoid Sticky Sweets
As the American Dental Association (ADA) puts it, “sticky foods are your mouth’s worst nightmare.” While we’re not suggesting you give up sweets completely, we encourage you to avoid sticky treats like Tootsie Rolls, Gummi Bears, and caramels. These sticky foods tend to linger on teeth, leading to decay.
3. Eat Dessert with Dinner
Rather than making dessert a special treat after dinner, plan to eat dessert along with dinner. Eating sugar with a balanced meal will not only remove sugar from your teeth, but it will also neutralize the acids that eat away at tooth enamel.
4. Reach for Water
During the holidays, it’s tempting to go overboard with eggnog, rum punch, soda, and other delicious drinks. However, we recommend that instead, you reach for water more often—it’s sugar-free, contains fluoride, and rinses away food particles.
Water also keeps mouths moist and hydrated which helps to prevent tooth decay. This holiday season, keep water readily available for you and your kids to swig. Your teeth will thank you!
5. Chew on This…
Sugar-free gum is another great way to prevent cavities this holiday season. Just pop a stick in your mouth after eating or when your mouth gets too dry. Like water, sugar-free gum removes food particles, neutralizes plaque acid, and increases saliva, minimizing the likelihood of tooth decay.
When you’re selecting gum, look for a brand that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance. For bonus points, put several packs of gum in your children’s Christmas stockings this year—not only will they love it, but it’s a great (sneaky) way to keep their teeth healthy!
Finally, consider setting up a post-holiday exam—with the kids out of school, this is the perfect time of year to come in for a cleaning. To schedule your checkup, simply click here to access our online appointment request form or call our office at 419.752.9345. We are located in Marengo and offer weekend appointments for your convenience.
* We are currently running a special for new uninsured patients. For just $75, receive a dental exam, X-rays, and cleaning.