As the holidays begin, it can be easy to put your health out of mind. After all, tis’ the season of baking! But, the foods you eat during Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations can wreak havoc on your teeth – and your overall health! Here are some tips from Howell Orthodontics to keep your teeth healthy for 2023!
The Importance of a Healthy Smile
Having a beautiful smile to show off isn’t just fun for your Christmas cards, but a beautiful, healthy smile can contribute to your overall wellness. When we neglect our dental health, we become susceptible to gum disease, blood infections, tooth loss (which contributes to jaw bone deficiencies and bone loss), and so much more! In fact, a lot of our health begins in the mouth!
Keeping Your Teeth Healthy for the Holidays
Of course, you can’t just focus on healthy teeth during the holidays. The best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy is with daily brushing and flossing (brush for two minutes two times per day) and seeing your dentist regularly twice each year for preventive care. During the festive season, however, here are some things you can do to help stay on a good dental course for 2023:
- Drink Up. A dry mouth promotes bacteria – and bacteria cause cavities and tooth decay! Drinking water is the best way to help your mouth fight against ‘Dry Mouth’, a serious condition that harms your teeth and gums. Water also helps wash away bacteria from food and sugar we may have recently eaten, and is one of the best things to do for overall wellness.
- Say ‘No’ to Snacks. There is a lot of good food and treats made during the holidays – and while we love our grandma’s signature fudge, snacking on it can have major consequences. Unless you plan on brushing, flossing, and rinsing after every snack, it is best to avoid the treat trays. Pick times during the day when you can sit down and eat and enjoy those holiday treats. This will allow you the ability to manage what you are consuming and brush after. Your teeth and waistline will thank you!
- Brush Frequently. Adding more brushing during the holiday season, especially if you plan to eat more than your typical daily intake, can help prevent cavities. When consuming sugar, brushing after eating is the best way to combat the bacteria. If you ate a lot of sugar, we also recommend flossing to make sure the bacteria don’t start munching on the enamel between your teeth.
- Eat Healthy Food. Vegetables, protein, and foods high in calcium and Vitamin D are great options to help protect your teeth. If you must indulge in sugar, avoid sticky or hard substances that can get stuck on or in between your teeth like caramel, gum, taffy, or hard candies.
- Add Fluoride. Most toothpaste will have fluoride as an ingredient, but if yours doesn’t – we definitely recommend finding one that does! Fluoride is a mineral that helps protect against cavity-causing bacteria and strengthens enamel. During the holidays, or when you expect to be consuming more sugar than usual, it may even be beneficial to incorporate a fluoride mouth rinse.
A Healthy Mouth for a New Year
While we hope you consider these tips for the holidays, keeping your teeth healthy all year long is important! If you have questions about dental health or concerns about your alignment, contact us today. Happy Holidays!