Staying healthy during the holiday season can be a challenge: travels can disrupt your routines, you may sleep less because you stay up late to hang out with your loved ones, and of course, all the treats can be hard to resist. It is easy to let dental care habits fall to the wayside, especially with all the sweets available. Thankfully, a few easy tips exist to take care of your teeth and gums during the festivities, so you can keep your smile bright and healthy. And they don’t require you to give up on all the yummy food and drinks!
Stick to Your Oral Hygiene Routine
The holidays can get in the way of your usual schedule but making sure you take time to go through your dental hygiene regimen every day can make a significant difference for your dental health. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes is a solid basis for preventative care. You should also make sure to floss every time you brush your teeth.
Keeping your oral hygiene routine consistent is always important but especially during this festive season where sugary treats abound. Having a toothbrush, a mini tube of toothpaste and some floss with you as you’re on the go is also a great idea so you are more likely to brush and floss after a meal.
Eat Treats in Moderation
Too much sugar is never a good thing for your health, and it can be quite damaging to your teeth. Hard candies can also cause teeth to crack or chip if you aren’t careful. Sticky and chewy treats can stay longer on your teeth, increasing the probability of tooth decay.
Moderation is your friend during this time of year. You don’t have to swear off delicious desserts and seasonal candies. Choosing to savor a single treat at a time instead of sampling a variety that may leave you half satisfied is a sound course of action. Making sure to brush your teeth afterward is a good way to reduce your risk of dental problems.
Drink Lots of Water
Staying hydrated is a year-round healthy habit to have but keeping up with your water intake can make the holidays easier on your body, including more energy and smoother skin. When it comes to how drinking plenty of water helps your teeth, it improves your digestion. Many hunger cues are actually thirst clues, so if you feel hungry, start by drinking water and revisit 30 minutes later to see how you feel. It prevents you from mindlessly reaching out to sweets.
When you enjoy meals and especially sugary treats, you’ll want to drink lots of water afterward. Choosing water over energy drinks, sodas, and fruit juices is a good habit. And if you drink some alcohol, staying hydrated as well will minimize your risk of a hangover.
Stay Up to Date with Your Dentist Appointments
With how busy the holidays can be, it’s tempting to just postpone any dental appointment you are due for. However, you should avoid skipping any routine exam and cleaning because they are crucial to maintaining good dental health. Make sure to schedule things as early as you can, whether you need to see your dentist before the end of the year or have your next regular checkup after the holidays. This helps your teeth stay cavity-free and your gums healthy. And if you need any additional dental work done, getting this out of the way before the end of the year minimizes future complications.
Another good idea is to be prepared in the event you need a last-minute dental appointment during the holiday season. If your usual dentist will be closed, ask them for a referral for emergencies and/or check for the location of your nearest emergency dental clinic. If you are traveling, take your dental insurance information with you. Even if you end up having no dental issue whatsoever during the festivities, being prepared will provide you peace of mind.
If you need dental care during the holiday season, Access Dental is here for you. Call us today at (973) 358-6266 or reach us via our contact form to schedule an appointment.