Dental Hygiene and the Holidays

dental hygiene and holidays

It’s the happiest time of the year for many of us, with celebrations of all sorts spanning the month of December and beyond. During this festive season, it’s easy to let the cares and worries of everyday life slip away as you celebrate. While that’s good for your mental health and spiritual well-being, it might not be the best thing for your teeth. The reality is that even during this magical time, you need to take care of your oral health. So what’s the best way to balance your dental hygiene and the holidays? Let’s take a look at some tips, tricks, and ideas that will help keep your teeth and gums healthy into the new year.

As with all best practices in oral health, your top priority during the holiday season is to maintain a good brushing and flossing routine. Regular brushing and flossing do more than anything else to preserve your oral health, during the holidays and indeed during the rest of the year. This is a celebratory time, and those celebrations have a disruptive effect on our normal schedules. While this can be both refreshing and exciting, we should stick to the parts of our routine that involve regularly cleaning our teeth.

One of the best parts of the holiday season is the food. Festive meals composed of holiday favorites are a big part of what marks this time of year so special. There’s no reason not to let yourself indulge a bit in holiday food, but while you do so be mindful of some of the special risks these foods can pose. Hard foods like toffee, peanut brittle, and nuts can crack or chip teeth. Sticky or sweet foods like caramels, chocolates, and candies can cling to teeth and lead to tooth decay. Many holiday favorites contain excess starches–cakes, pies, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, loaves of bread, and cookies are prime culprits. These starches can contribute to both cavity development and tooth decay. While you should absolutely all enjoy the various feasts that come at this time of the year, try to balance that by being mindful of what you eat and ensure that you rinse your mouth out with water after meals. And as always: don’t forget to brush and floss!

If we’re discussing holiday celebrations and the accompanying meals, we should take a moment to recognize that while delicious much of the food we eat at this time of the year isn’t the best for our health. It’s wonderful to enjoy seasonal celebrations. However, we should also make some effort towards maintaining a healthy diet during the festivities. The occasional salad or light meal interspersed within the holiday feasting is good for you and your teeth and helps maintain healthy habits the whole year long.

For the adults among us, oral health risks during the holidays may go beyond food. This is a prime time of the year for indulging in alcohol and tobacco. While those things may be fun and festive, they have a pronounced effect on oral health and can in excess lead to tooth damage or even tooth loss. It’s best to eliminate them altogether, but if you must please use them in moderation.

Finally, remember that it’s not too late for one last visit to the dentist. This is the time of the year to make the most of your dental benefits by squeezing in one last exam and cleaning or finishing a wanted cosmetic procedure before the insurance clock resets with the new year. Contact us today and make an appointment as soon as possible to avoid the end of year rush!

From all of us at Queen City Dental Arts, we wish you and yours the best of the season. Here’s to 2021!