The holidays are certainly a time for celebrating, and there’s no shortage of cocktails, sweets and lavish meals. While your dentist definitely encourages you to enjoy yourself, he/she will also remind you to take easy steps to make sure your dental hygiene doesn’t get left behind (with the fruitcake). While the holiday season is a joyous time, it is also a little stressful, packs your schedule with more to-dos than usual, and invites you to indulge in alcoholic beverages and sweets. But, keep your smile top of mind, and you’ll pass the holiday season with flying colors!
Wine and alcoholic beverages
Delicious it may be, wine and alcoholic beverages (especially the fun holiday ones) often consist of acid and sugar. Both of these attack tooth enamel, which is critical in the protection against tooth decay and cavities. There is no need to avoid these drinks all together (although, please be advised that moderation is key!), just make sure you are regularly drinking water in between any sugary or acidic drinks, and that you’re brushing your teeth before bed.
The holiday season is probably bacteria’s favorite season, too. There’s a huge amount of candy, cakes, cookies, gingerbread houses, chocolate, etc. etc. etc. around, and, honestly, it’d be rude not to enjoy them. Just remember that bacteria in the mouth thrive on the sugars found in these sweet treats, which increases the likelihood of developing cavities. If you can’t brush and floss after enjoying these sugary treats, make sure you are drinking plenty of water to rinse out your mouth. If you can, chew some sugar-free gum, which helps to boost saliva flow and wash away lingering bacteria.
While the holidays are definitely a fun time of the year, it can also be a stressful time. Holiday anxiety can often cause people to grind or clench their teeth (both while sleeping and awake), which can cause jaw pain, headaches and chipped teeth. The first step is to find ways to relieve stress, and the second is to see your dentist because he/she will be able to provide custom solutions like a night guard or Invisalign. Recognizing and focusing on combating your holiday stress will help to ensure you start the New Year with the healthiest smile possible.
Your dental team is available for any questions you might have, as well as provide additional tips for keeping your smile shining bright this holiday season. They are dedicated to your oral health and want to make sure you keep your teeth for a lifetime, and that’s something we can all cheers to!