The holiday season is all about family, gatherings, and celebrating. The last thing you want to add to your to-do list is an unexpected visit to the dentist. Follow these 5 tips to keep your smile bright this busy time of year.
1. Don’t crack nuts with your teeth
That’s what a nutcracker is for! This is not the time to test the strength of your teeth. The hard shell of most nuts can cause major harm to your teeth and gums, especially if you have existing dental issues or braces.
2. Use proper tools to open packages and bottle
Your teeth were created to bite and chew into foods. Opening packages and bottles with your teeth is a big no-no. You can chip or fracture your teeth, which will result in having to repair, root canal, or crown a tooth. This can be painful and costly. Reach for a bottle opener or scissors instead.
3. Avoid chewing on hard candies
Be cautious of candy canes – hard candy is tasty and readily available at the holidays, but it can crack your teeth if you bite down wrong. Let candies dissolve to prevent any chipping or other damage – but not too long though. The longer you bathe your teeth in sugar, the more you feed the bacteria in your mouth, activating plaque buildup. Be sure to brush thoroughly after eating candy of any kind.
4. Pass on chewy treats
Sticky substances cling to tooth enamel and encourage tooth decay. Certain candies like caramel and taffy can pull out fillings, which are expensive to replace. A better snack option, which is friendly on your waistline as well, is a variety of colorful veggies like carrots, celery, broccoli, and sweet peppers.
5. Stay on your routine
To prevent starting the new year with unwanted cavities or gum disease, brush two times a day and floss at least once a day to remove plaque and prevent tartar build-up. After carbohydrates, sugar, or heavy meal, it is best to brush and floss. If you are unable to brush or floss immediately, rinse out your mouth with water.