This time of year is exciting for many reasons. Quality time with family, travel and delicious food all make the holidays special. It’s also a busy season and in the midst of gift-buying, cooking and attending holiday parties, it is easy to let your oral health take a backseat. Just as the average American gains two-five pounds between Thanksgiving and January 1, teeth and gums sometimes emerge from the season in less than perfect condition. Consider these tips for maintaining oral health during the most wonderful time of the year:
Pack extra toothbrushes
We’ve all been there. You make it to grandma’s house only to realize that you left your toothbrush at home. Buy an extra toothbrush for each member of the family (mini, travel style toothbrushes are good options).
Keep the pearly whites white
If your teeth tend to stain easily when drinking wine or coffee, you may face some discoloration during the holidays thanks to parties and family get-togethers where wine is served. To avoid this, limit your intake, try to drink a glass of water in between beverages, and brush your teeth as soon as possible. If the damage is already done, call Vacendak Dentistry for teeth whitening services (we want your teeth to shine in those holiday pictures!)
Avoid chewy foods
As a general rule, stay away from sticky foods and candies like caramel and taffy, as they tend to break down enamel and are hard to clean from teeth, eventually causing decay. Again, being diligent about brushing your teeth (and flossing) after eating sweet foods makes all the difference.
Be on the lookout for the signs of bruxism (teeth grinding)
The holidays can be stressful and some people respond to this stress by grinding their teeth at night. If you notice jaw soreness or headaches upon waking in the morning, you may want to consider visiting the dentist to see if teeth grinding is the cause. If so, you could benefit from wearing a mouth guard while sleeping. This will help prevent the serious consequences of bruxism including cracked teeth and Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ).
The team at Vacendak Dentistry is passionate about taking care of your teeth all year long, but we’re excited to wish you a very happy holiday season! Contact us today to schedule a dental check up and give yourself the gift of oral health this year.