‘Tis the season for friends, family, gatherings, and food. And with this season comes sugary baked treats that are tough to turn down. We would never tell you not to indulge in wonderful holiday food, but we know it’s important to keep up dental health habits during all of the parties and dinners. So we’ve put together 6 tips to keep your teeth healthy while enjoying the holiday season.
- Pick Healthy Snacks – Cookies, cakes and other baked treats can be hard to ignore – and you don’t have to! But be sure to enjoy healthy snacks from the veggie and fruit trays as well. That way you won’t overdo the sweets, and the healthier options will fill you up and help clean your teeth. Cheese is also a good choice, as it helps to neutralize acids in your mouth (and calcium is great for teeth as well).
- Rinse & Repeat – Whenever you don’t have a toothbrush on hand, a quick rinse with water can be helpful, especially if you’ve eaten something sugary or acidic. It will also prevent dry mouth and help keep bad breath under control. And of course, drinking water is always a preferred option to sugar-filled drinks.
- Clean When (& How) You Can – Keeping a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste with you is great for keeping teeth clean, but we know that not everyone is comfortable doing that. Luckily, there are other options! Chewing surgarless gum between meals is helpful, as well as mouthwash (in small, compact bottles), floss, and Brush-Ups disposable brushing tools.
- Beware Sticky Treats – Chewy, gummy, and sticky treats are a staple of the season. But for your teeth, they’re quite harmful. They promote plaque build-up and stick to the teeth and gums – the sugar left there causes decay. Then there are also the candies, such as candy canes and peppermints. When allowed to dissolve in the mouth they leave a sugar build-up, and when bitten they can cause tooth breakage. It’s best to keep indulgence of these treats to a minimum, and to clean your teeth right after eating them.
- Drink to your Health – Sodas, cocktails, wines and other drinks are popular during the holidays. While they can be fun and tasty, many of them wreak havoc on your mouth, due to high sugar content, tooth staining, bad breath and dry mouth. So be sure to drink plenty of water in between other drinks to keep your mouth hydrated, rinse out the sugars, and cleanse your mouth.
- Stock the Stockings – Often, stockings are stuffed with candies and treats for your children. But consider giving less sugary treats, and adding a fun new toothbrush or container of floss. Now there are so many items that are made specifically so kids will find teeth-cleaning fun, there are a lot of options that would be stocking-appropriate.