How to Keep Your Teeth Clean During the Holidays
Visions of sugar plums and candy canes might be dancing in your head this holiday season. But those visions can lead to sugar consumption which can turn into real-life dental nightmares. Dr. Sayegh at Implant a Smile in Glendora and Huntington beach offers some expert tips for keeping your teeth healthy and bright during the sweet holiday season.
Tips from Dr. Sayegh for holiday dental care:
If you plan to be indulging in treats while you are at home, plan on brushing at least a few times a day. And if you’re heading to holiday parties, use a travel toothbrush. You want to be able to brush while on the go to stop sugar from settling on your teeth for too long. If you are on the go, buy an extra travel toothbrush and small tube of toothpaste so you will be able to give your teeth a quick but thorough cleaning between eggnog and holiday party fare. Ideally, you should brush within an hour of eating, for two to three minutes. We know you don’t want to be known the gal who carries a toothbrush in her purse or the guy with floss in his pocket. But better that than to be the ones with holes in their teeth!
Daily flossing is recommended all year around. But it’s especially important to clean between your teeth after eating the sticky sweets so prevalent during this time of the year. Caramel and other similar gummy treats stick in between teeth, nestled into spaces too tight for a toothbrush to reach. Proper flossing between every tooth is critical for removing sugary substances which can lead to tartar and gum disease problems. As the saying goes, “Only floss between the teeth you want to keep!”
Rinse with water.
If you can’t brush, do a quick swish with water to loosen sugary particles before they settle at the base of your teeth. While that’s not ideal, it should help keep teeth relatively clean until you can get to your toothbrush. Then, when you get home, brush ASAP. Water alone is better than nothing, for a quick fix.
Don’t just rinse with water. Drink it!
Water helps move sugar through the body. This is important not just for diabetics but for everyone. Undiluted sugar can increase acid production in the body, which can erode layers of enamel on teeth.
Not only are hard candies made of sugar, they are hard enough to chip your teeth if bitten at an odd angle. If you want to indulge your sweet tooth, stick to softer treats. Anything that sticks to your teeth could potentially affix itself to a crown. And your jaw strength could work against you, when you pull your teeth apart only to realize that your dental work has come apart with the chewy candy.
Don’t use your teeth as tools.
Avoid opening gift packages or cutting tags or labels with your teeth. Nature designed your teeth for chewing food, not ripping through plastic. Spare your teeth and reach for a pair of scissors.
Drinking red wine can stain your teeth. Stick to white wine or champagne, and be sure you eat food along with red. And, again, if possible, rinse or brush as soon as you are done. Stowing an extra toothbrush and some floss in your desk at work could save your teeth.
Don’t bite your nails.
Don’t try to crack hard-shelled nuts like walnuts with your teeth!
Limit coffee and tea.
Some people dive into more coffee and tea in the cooler months. Be careful about increasing your intake of these tooth-staining liquids.
It’s important to enjoy a few indulgences during the holiday season that you might avoid the rest of the year. But indulging doesn’t necessarily mean your teeth should suffer. With proper home dental care and regular checkups, you can make sure that your holiday photos feature your brightest and whitest smile.
About Implant a Smile
Dr. Antoine Sayegh & the ImplantaSmile Team use the latest available dental treatments, equipment, and materials – all of which make a marked difference in our patients’ experiences. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal dental health. We creatively combine dental science and artistry — which can literally redesign your smile. Since even a subtle change in your smile will help you to project self-confidence and high self-esteem, we love helping you feel good about yourself. We deliver the finest dental care at the most reasonable cost and accept most dental insurance plans as well as CareCredit. For more about the dental treatment plans we offer or to schedule an appointment, call today (626) 963-7581.