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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but that may not be true for your teeth if you do not take the proper precautions over the holiday season.
You can have a cavity-free smile while enjoying festive treats and sweets. Follow our five holiday oral health tips to ensure your teeth and gums have a holly, jolly good-time all season long.
1. Keep your regular dental hygiene routine.
With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy to get off track when it comes to daily dental hygiene. Remember that you should brush after every meal, or at least twice a day. Flossing daily should be part of your routine as well.
Traveling can make keeping your routine more difficult, so you should always pack a complete dental care kit. This is perfect time to update your dental hygiene tools. Get a new toothbrush for the trip and pack plenty of floss and toothpaste. Don’t forget your tongue scrapper and travel-sized bottles of mouthwash with the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance.
2. Use a nutcracker.
A variety of nuts are consumed as a traditional holiday treat every winter season. While walnuts, almonds, pecans, and chestnuts are a healthy alternative to more sugary treats, you should not test the strength of your teeth when shelling them. Use appropriate nutcrackers to avoid an emergency visit to the dentist. The symptoms of a cracked tooth can vary, but erratic pain and extreme sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures are common ones. If you suspect a cracked tooth, see your dentist as soon as possible to avoid further injury and damage. The treatment for a cracked tooth depends on the type of crack, location and extent of the damage. Avoid this danger by NOT using your teeth as culinary tools.
3. Avoid hard candy and chewy treats.
Much like using your teeth as a nutcracker, you should avoid hard candy. Besides biting down on the candy and causing damage to your teeth, you can also damage your teeth with the sugary residue that is left by candy canes and other hard candies.
Extremely chewy treats, like caramel and gummies, are also popular during the holiday season. Chewy candies and sweets also leave a sugary residue that causes harm to tooth enamel and can lead to tooth decay.
4. Make sure you’ve had your annual dental checkup.
The holiday season means the year is quickly coming to an end? Have you had your annual dental checkup?
Keep your teeth and oral health in great condition with regular professional hygiene visits. This is also the perfect time to make an appointment regarding any concerns you may have about your teeth, gums, throat, cheeks and tongue. Get checked out before hitting the road so your dentist can resolve any issues that may cause your holiday trip to be less than merry. A thorough exam will let your dentist determine if you need treatment for any underlying conditions and address any concerns you may have about your oral health.
If you can’t squeeze an appointment in before the end of the year, start the year off right with a scheduled hygiene appointment. It’s the perfect time to schedule a visit for yourself or the whole family.
5. Avoid staining beverages.
This applies to every season. Naturally, the consumption of hot beverages like cider, hot cocoa, eggnog and gourmet coffees increase with the busier schedules and lower temperatures of the holiday season. However, these tasty drinks can be harmful to your teeth. Even red and white wines and hot or cold teas can cause issues. These beverages contain tannins, an ingredient that causes color compounds to stick to your teeth and leave a yellow or brown hue behind. It only takes one cup of one these beverages per day to cause stained teeth.
On top of the staining properties of these drinks, they can also leave a sugary residue that can lead to enamel erosion. Coffee can also cause bacterial growth in your mouth, which further impacts tooth and enamel erosion. It also causes bad breath because it sticks to your tongue.
It’s best to brush your teeth, scrap your tongue and rinse with an approved mouth wash immediately after consuming these beverages.
Follow these five tips and your smile will remain merry and bright throughout the season. Your holiday portraits and selfies with family and friends will look better than ever, and your oral health will be in great shape heading into the new year.
Click the link If you need to schedule an appointment, or give us a call at 334-279-0760. We’d love to find a time that is convenient for you! We offer a wide range of dental services and procedures to care for our patients’ health. From simple cleanings and check-ups to cosmetic and emergency dentistry, you will find the most options in dental maintenance and protection at Montgomery Dentistry.
“The staff at Montgomery Dentistry never fails to provide timely and professional dental care in a pleasent and beautiful facility.”
Joe Panza, Colonel, USAF (Retired)
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