It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
What’s there not to love about Christmas?! The parties… the presents… and of course, the sweet treats!
There’s no doubt that your family’s dental health can take a hit during the holidays, but we want to make sure you don’t get an unexpected gift of an emergency trip to the dentist.
For fun, we’ve come up with a dentist’s version of “The 12 Days of Christmas” that includes 12 dental tips to keep the smiles happy and healthy during the holidays and throughout the New Year!
#1 – Brush your teeth two minutes/two times per day.
Cutting your brushing routine short can leave your teeth and gums susceptible to bacteria which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. And this doesn’t just apply to the kiddos — adults need to follow the two minute rule, too!
#2 – Go soft.
Many people brush too hard, which can wear down enamel, irritate the gums and increase sensitivity. Switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush with light, even pressure.
#3 – Power Up.
Electric toothbrushes offer a vibrating/circulating head that has many cleaning benefits. If the higher-end rechargeable models don’t fit into your family’s budget, even battery-powered, electric toothbrushes will work.
#4 – Offer the sweets, but don’t forget the healthy treats.
It’s not a holiday party without the cookies and candy, but don’t forget to offer some healthy alternatives like a veggie or meat/cheese trays. Carrots, celery and broccoli can clean the teeth, while meats boast protein and cheese helps neutralize the acid in alcoholic beverages.
#5 – Watch out for those candy canes.
Candy canes take forever to eat, and they coat your teeth with high levels of sugar. If you’re a “chomper” you can easily crack or break a tooth. While it’s better to let them dissolve or melt in your mouth, make sure to at least rinse right after eating if you can’t brush.
#6 – Teeth are not a tool.
When it comes to ripping open gifts, cutting tags off clothing or unscrewing bottle caps… your teeth should not be used in place of pliers or scissors! The last thing you need is an emergency trip to the dentist to fix a cracked or broken tooth.
#7 – Keep hydrated.
Water can keep hunger at bay and re-hydrate the body. It’s also rinses away any sticky, sugary residue.
# 8 – Don’t forget to brush your tongue.
Your tongue is susceptible to bacteria and that can translate to “dragon” breath. Brushing or scraping your tongue is an important part of dental hygiene.
#9 – Don’t get “wine-y”
Red wine can stain your teeth. And if you think white is better, neither one is particularly good for your teeth. Drink wine with food and be sure to brush as soon as you can.
#10 – Don’t sip too much soda.
While we all love soda, it’s packed with sugar and the acid can damage your teeth. Opt for lightly carbonated flavored waters, and if soda is the only choice, drink from a straw.
#11 – Don’t “eat” the ice.
While blenders are perfect for crunching ice cubes, teeth are not. Also be careful when chewing popcorn or nuts.
#12 – Always carry sugar-free gum.
When you can’t brush, chewing sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol after meals and snacks can help rinse off and neutralize the acids released by the bacteria in plaque.
The holidays should be filled with happy times, not stressful or painful trips to the dentist.
Keep these tips in mind and remember, if a dental emergency comes up, we’re here to help! All of us at Lake County Dental Care wish you and yours a blessed and wonderful Christmas and New Year!
Dr. Potts is a gentle, caring dentist uses the most advanced materials and procedures available. He practices comfortable, health-centered dentistry, with a strong emphasis on getting to know each patient. In addition technical proficiency, Dr. Potts is a careful listener. He makes sure to understand what you want and will explain beforehand what treatment is best for your individual needs, along with all options available to you.