Big family gatherings may be on hold this year, but there will still be plenty of opportunities to enjoy your favorite meal or dessert—as well as all the leftovers. While these tasty treats may taste sweet at first, they could leave your mouth and teeth feeling sour.
Protect your teeth with these holiday dental tips
Here are ten tips that can help you keep your teeth, gums and mouth healthy throughout the holiday season:
- Brush after meals
Did you know the bacteria in plaque feed on the sugars in your food? In as few as 20 minutes, bacteria can metabolize the sugars in your mouth and excrete harmful acids onto the surface of your teeth. So remember to eat, drink, brush and stay hydrated to protect your oral health.
- Drink plenty of water
Water is important for your overall health and it can help wash away food and other residues that might have been left behind on your teeth. Drinking water also helps prevent dry mouth, which can help keep tooth decay at bay.
- Floss daily
Flossing is one of the most important and often overlooked parts of a good dental hygiene routine. It not only helps remove food debris and plaque stuck between the tight spaces in your teeth, but it’s also one of the best ways to prevent gingivitis.
- Refresh your toothbrush
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), your toothbrush should be replaced every three months. After 90 days, most soft-bristled toothbrushes become less effective at removing plaque. Show your family how much you love them with a year’s supply of toothbrushes in their stocking or as a Hanukah gift.
- Keep treats out or reach
Keep sugary treats out of sight and out of mind to avoid temptation and protect your teeth. Opt for a selection of tasty fruit platters instead.
- Eat more vegetables
While visions of sugarplums and other sweet treats dance in your head, be sure to set out a colorful veggie platter too. Vegetables help wash away harmful plaque that can lead to tooth decay and gingivitis.
- Avoid staining drinks
Celebrating during the holidays often means imbibing in a selection of tasty beverages. Unfortunately, many of them can stain your teeth, like red wine, coffee, tea and juice. If you don’t avoid these drinks, Alpine Dental Health recommends drinking them with a lid or straw to minimize tooth exposure.
- Avoid crunchy foods
Nuts, popcorn, nut brittle and pretzels may be delicious holiday treats, but they can damage your teeth. It’s important not to overdo it with crunchy foods and be careful as you bite into them.
- Avoid grinding your teeth
The holidays can be a stressful time of year, especially during a pandemic. If you wake up in the morning with a stiff jaw or mouth pain, then you may be clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth. In fact, many people grind their teeth and don’t even know it! Talk to your dentist about a mouthguard, aka, night guard or bite splint. These custom-made Mouthguards (not the kind you buy in a sporting goods store) put a barrier between your teeth and allow your muscles and joints to go into their natural position, to lighten tension, protect teeth and ease jaw pain and joint damage.
- Schedule a post-holiday cleaning
The best way to restore your oral health is with a professional cleaning. Our dental hygienists are friendly and skilled in the removal of plaque and other unhealthy ghosts of holidays past.
Boulder Office – 2700 Canyon Blvd, Suite 210
Dr. Whitney Smith
Downtown Denver Office – 910 16th St. Mall, Suite 711
Dr. Barry Taller
West Fort Collins Office – 1015 S. Taft Hill Rd Taft Hill Office – Unit K
Dr. Seth Cowden
Downtown Fort Collins Office – College Ave Office950 S. Taft Hill Rd.
INTERIM OFFICE WHILE NEW LOCATION IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Dr. Mick McDill, Dr. Todd Rosenzweig, Dr. Mesa Roth