The holidays are coming soon, and with them come sweets, chocolates, wine, and plenty of food. But between the shopping, the caroling, the merrying, the jollying, and the eating, one can easily forget about your dental health.
Between chomping on candy canes or sipping on red wine, your teeth are going to take a beating this holiday season. From acidic foods to nuts and chocolate, if you’re not careful, you might get a cavity in your stocking instead of a present.
So, to keep the holiday season safe for you and your pearly whites, we put together a few tips for your teeth.
We don’t just mean to avoid overconsumption of alcohol, but also watch what you are drinking. Juices, coffee, wine, hot chocolate and many other drinks are packed with sugars and dyes. These can eat away at your enamel and stain your teeth. It is recommended that you brush your teeth before drinking these beverages. Properly removing plaque and food residue from your teeth before a heavy meal can minimize the risk of staining your teeth.
When it comes to red wine, it is recommended that you drink some water after each glass of wine. Not only does this help you stay hydrated, but it also helps prevent the wine from sinking into your enamel. However, don’t rush to the bathroom to brush your teeth right after having a glass of wine. Your teeth are more sensitive after eating, and it’s recommended to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to prevent tooth damage due to the acidic nature of red wine. This also goes for other food and drink, best to take a bit of break between eating and brushing!
They Are Teeth, Not Tools
We have all been there before. You can’t get something undone with your hands, but it’s tempting to put it into your teeth and grip it that way. Most of the time this is harmless – your teeth are one of the strongest parts of our body – but if you have a hairline fracture, fillings, crowns, veneers, or other restorations, you might end up breaking a tooth. This is especially true if the item in question is hard like a wine bottle or a cork.
Things like twist ties might seem harmless, but they could puncture your gums, lip or tongue and cause discomfort, bleeding and even a trip to the emergency room to get stitches.
Cut Back on the Candies
Your mom wasn’t just being a “mom” when she told you to eat fewer candies at Christmas. Although candy canes and candy bars are crowd favourites, eating all that sugar can cause cavities to form. If you aren’t flossing and brushing properly, these tasty treats will start burrowing into your teeth and give you a problem come the New Year.
But it’s not just candies and chocolates you need to watch out for. Canned fruit, seltzers, sodas and popcorn can all have sugar in them. The same can be said for things like buns, stuffings, cakes, bakings and other carbohydrates. These carbs will break down and turn into sugars, and those can cause problems for the teeth too.
(…and the waistline, but calories don’t count at Christmas, right?)
Keep Healthy Habits
If you’re worried about what you can eat, you could look at nuts, fruit or vegetables. Meat is good too, such as ham, turkey and chicken. Try to cut out processed foods, and focus more on natural or organic foods – things your grandmother used to make, not what the candyman makes.
Water is also your friend this holiday season. Not only does it keep you filled and prevent grazing of snacks, but it keeps you hydrated and keeps your mouth clean. The more water you drink, the less likely you are to eat sweets, and the less likely you are to get cavities.
Plan A Dentist Appointment
New Year, new you, new smile. However you choose to celebrate your holiday season, you will want to book an appointment to see your dentist when it is over. There is a good chance you are overdue for your visit anyway, and we’d love to hear what you got up to since last time.
Simpli Dental has offices in Regina, Saskatoon and Calgary and is happy to help you with both your general and emergency dental needs – just in case, you know, you used your teeth to open a wine bottle again.
Happy Holidays and stay safe this holiday season!