Ho ho ho. It’s that time of the year with Santa, candy, and goodies for the kids, while the adults indulge in eating and drinking constantly. Food and drinks fill up our stomachs, while presents and family time fill up our calendars. But it is important to remember all that indulgence can take a toll on your oral health.
Sugar, alcohol, and acidic foods can cause plaque buildup, erosion, and even cavities. To keep your smile sparkling throughout the season, here are 8 tips for maintaining good oral hygiene during the holidays:
Don’t Skip Brushing After Parties
Although late night parties can make you jump straight into bed, do not skip brushing your teeth. It is very important to remove the plaque and food debris that has accumulated throughout the day to prevent the risk of cavities. Make sure to brush and floss before bed, even if you are feeling tired.
Stick to Your Routine
Even with all the holiday hustle and bustle, it is important to maintain your regular oral hygiene routine. This means brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes each time and flossing once a day. If you cannot always maintain this routine, mouthwash can help temporarily but it is not a substitute. Try not to let late nights or parties disrupt your oral habits.
Christmas is a time of indulgence with food. But you can be mindful of your choices such as opting for healthier options like fruits, vegetables, and nuts instead of sugary candy and processed snacks. Cheese and turkey are also good choices because they are a good source of calcium and protein which are beneficial for your teeth and gums.
Limit Your Sugar Intake
Christmas is also a time of indulgence with sweet treats. However, excessive sugar consumption can have harmful effects on your oral health. Limit your intake of sugary drinks like fizzy drinks and juices and drink water. If you do eat sweets, try to brush your teeth after to minimise the impact on your enamel.
Be Mindful of Acidic Foods
Christmas is a time of festive foods like cranberry sauce, citrus fruits, and red wine. These are delicious but acidic and can erode tooth enamel, increasing the risk of cavities. To minimise the damage after drinking, rinse your mouth with water and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to avoid further erosion.
Gift Oral Care Products
In the season of giving, gift oral care products to your family or buy for yourself. Invest in a high-quality electric toothbrush, a fun-flavoured floss, or a fluoride-rich mouthwash. These upgrades can make your oral hygiene routine more enjoyable and effective.
Do Not Forget Your Tongue
While brushing your teeth is essential, do not neglect your tongue. Bacteria can build up on the tongue, contributing to bad breath and even oral health issues. Gently brush your tongue with your toothbrush or use a tongue scraper to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
Visit Your Dentist
Schedule a dental check-up before the holiday season gets into full swing. This way, your dentist can check if you have any existing concerns and ensure your teeth are healthy enough to handle the festive period. Additionally, they can provide personalised tips on how to maintain good oral hygiene during the holidays.
Consider carrying a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste in your purse or bag. This allows you to freshen up your breath and remove food particles after meals or snacks, especially when you’re out and about during the holidays.
By following these tips, you can enjoy the holiday season without sacrificing your oral health. Remember, your teeth are important, and taking care of them is crucial for your overall health. So, celebrate responsibly, be mindful of what you eat and drink, and maintain your good oral hygiene routine for a healthy and happy holiday season.
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