The holiday season is approaching along with a barrage of goodies. The holidays offer a continuous buffet of sweet treats such as cookies, popcorn balls, candy canes and more. They may taste delicious, but they could wreak havoc on your teeth.
You don’t have to deprive yourself of sugary goodness altogether. You can indulge in the things you love most in moderation. After treating yourself to a modest portion of your dessert of choice, make sure to brush your teeth. Though a few desserts won’t break your smile, ongoing poor diet choices coupled with neglectful dental care could lead to gum disease and even a loose or missing tooth that may require dental implants.
To keep your teeth in good shape over the holidays, observe these tips:
- Avoid hard and chewy candies – Crunching on hard candies could result in chipped teeth or cracks in your fillings, both of which can be very painful. If you enjoy hard candies, let them dissolve naturally in your mouth rather than biting down hard on them. Chewy candies tend to cling to the tooth enamel, causing your tooth fillings to fall out. Chewy candies also stick to your teeth, encouraging tooth decay.
- Do not crack nuts with your teeth – Nut platters are ubiquitous this time of year. Nuts are good because they contain protein. However, they can harm your teeth if you are not careful about how you eat them. You should never use your mouth to open nutshells as you could damage both your teeth and gums. Ask for a nutcracker to break the nuts open.
- Brush – The pace of life revs up during the holidays. After a late-night holiday party, you may be tempted to fall into bed. No matter how tired you are, however, remember to brush and floss your teeth. Keep a toothbrush in your purse or backpack or at your work station. If you eat sweets during the day, brush shortly afterward to avoid sugary buildup in your mouth.
- See the dentist – Don’t get so busy that you postpone your appointment with the dentist. It is advisable to see your dental specialist twice a year for checkups.
With a little extra effort, you can emerge from the holidays with your teeth as healthy and bright as ever.