It’s the most wonderful time of the year—or so the song goes. While there are plenty of reasons to love this season, there’s one area that it is the worst: your oral health. Most dentists agree that from October through December is the most risky time for smiles. Why? What can you do to make the holidays better for your smile? Read on to find out!
Reason #1: Too Much Sugar
If you have more sweet treats than usual during this season, the reason may be that there’s more temptation around. Between your kids’ Halloween candy, Thanksgiving pies, and Christmas baked goods, you likely have more sugary food in your house during this time of year than any other. It can be difficult to resist sweets, but they fuel inflammation- and cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth.
Reason #2: Constant Snacking
Whether you’re going to a get-together or it’s just your family hanging out, food is usually an important part of social gatherings. However, snacking more frequently throughout the day only provides more opportunities for plaque to form on your teeth.
Reason #3: Getting Out of Your Daily Routine
Many travel this time of year to visit family and loved ones. If you plan on doing so, your routine can be thrown off. In addition to changing the time you go to bed, traveling can also interrupt your usual oral hygiene, increasing your risk of problems like gum disease or cavities.
Ways to Keep Your Smile Healthy This Holiday Season
During this special time of year, you don’t have to put your oral health at risk, and you can still have fun! Here are some simple ways to prevent dental damage and still enjoy the holidays.
Stick to a Healthy Dental Routine
As challenging as it can be to maintain your schedule while you’re traveling, make the extra effort to at least continue brushing and flossing daily as you do at home. These little steps alone can go a long way to protect your smile from decay and infection.
Drink More Water
Throughout the day, and especially after having a sugary treat, make sure you’re drinking water. It rinses food particles and plaque from your mouth and neutralizes acids that could damage your teeth and gums. A special drink, like eggnog, hot chocolate, or a glass of wine, may be all right every now and then, but your main beverage should be water.
Be Smart about Your Sweets
No one is saying you have to stay away from your favorite holiday foods. However, you can make some better decisions that protect your smile. Perhaps you don’t need to sample every kind of pie so you can reduce your sugar intake. Maybe you can eat dessert right after dinner when your mouth naturally salivates more. Maybe you can choose to have fresh fruit or vegetables instead of a processed snack between meals. These small decisions can have a huge impact.
You can still enjoy the holidays without putting your teeth and gums in danger. By implementing these tips, your smile can stay merry and bright throughout the season!
About the Practice
Hulen Crossing Family Dental is privileged to have not just one but two highly experienced and trained dentists on staff. Dr. William Buck has nearly 30 years of clinical experience and loves to help patients achieve their best smile. Dr. Mark DeSimone practices more as an oral surgery and sedation specialist, but he too takes pride in the quality of care he delivers. If you would like to schedule an appointment at Hulen Crossin Family Dental, you may contact the practice online or call the office at 682-207-6555.