As a dentist in Hillsdale, our team at Burlingame Dental Arts understand that with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season in full swing your oral health may take a back seat to all of the merriment. Since the holidays generally mean plenty of snacking on sweet treats and a lot of heavy meals, this isn’t the time of year to start ignoring your oral health.
Snacking, especially on items like Christmas cookies, fruit cakes, and hot chocolate increases your risk of tooth decay. That’s because unlike larger meals where the mouth produces additional saliva to help flush food and bacteria from the surface of your teeth, the saliva flow in the mouth does not increase when snacking. This allows harmful oral bacteria and food particles to remain on the surface of your teeth where they can use the sugars you consume to create harmful substances that slowly erode away tooth enamel.
So to keep your teeth and gums healthy heading into the new year, here are a few holiday tips on how to protect the oral health of you and your family.
Stocking Stuffers to Smile About
Once your stocking is hung by the chimney with care, you’re very likely to find it stuffed with candy. In fact, the National Confectioners Association reports that 77 percent of people include candy in their holiday gifts. If you’re planning on handing out candy, consider chocolate the best option. Not only do most people love it, chocolate also washes off of teeth more easily when compared to sticker candies like peanut brittle, candy canes, and cakes that contain dried fruits. And while it might not make you the most popular Santa in the house, you should also consider throwing a new toothbrush and dental floss into the next stocking you stuff.
Hum a Holiday Tune
Your teeth feature a number of crevices and ravines that are hard to properly clean if you don’t pay enough attention and devote the right amount of time. After all, if you only spent 30 seconds – the average amount of time most people spend brushing a day – shaving, applying makeup, or combing your hair you’d probably notice a few spots missing the attention they deserved.
The American Dental Association recommends spending at least two minutes brushing each time you pick up your toothbrush. One way to help keep track of the amount of time your brushing is to hum a holiday tune in your head. As you “Jingle Bells” or recount the time you saw “Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” you not only keep on task, you help to distract and entertain yourself.
Save the Tearing for the Wrapping Paper
Gifts wrapped with care using holiday ribbon or string add a nice festive touch to what awaits opening under the tree. No matter how excited you are to see what Santa delivered never use your teeth for anything other than eating.
While your teeth rank as some of the strongest parts of the body, they are simply not designed to rip, tear, or open anything that you cannot eat. Tearing open a package with your teeth is a great way to add visiting a dentist in Hillsdale to your holiday schedule.
The Secret to a Stunning Smile
With all of the holiday photos being taken this time of year, it’s only natural to want a brilliantly bright smile. If you don’t have time to wait for Santa to bring you a teeth whitening kit for Christmas, try wearing a red or pink lipstick with a blue undertone. Thanks to how the eye processes color, your teeth will look instantly brighter and whiter in all of those family photos.
Stay on Schedule
Between holiday celebrations, travel, and family gatherings, it can be easy to find yourself falling out of your normal habits. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until 2018 to make your oral health a priority once again. If you scheduled an appointment to see our dentist in Hillsdale, keep it. And don’t forget to keep brushing twice a day and to always floss.