If you’re like our dentists in Cary NC, you’re probably looking forward to lots of yummy treats this holiday season. Over the holidays, you will likely be tempted with foods that make your tastebuds happy, but don’t necessarily protect your smile. However, there’s no need to panic. Our dentists in Cary NC are committed to protecting your mouth’s integrity, and offer you the following tips to keep you smiling throughout the holiday season.
- Have some water with that wine– During the holidays, many of us partake of more wine and cocktails than usual. The acid in wine can eat away at your tooth enamel, while the sugar encourages bacteria that cause tooth decay. To avoid the negative effects, avoid swishing wine around your mouth when you drink and be sure to drink lots of water between glasses to help wash away the acid. Red wine may also discolor teeth.
- Chew gum between sweets– The holiday is a time for cakes, chocolates and pies as much as for turkey, ham and dressing. Like with wine, the sugar from these desserts can leave bacterial buildup on your teeth. One way to combat this, besides water, is to chew gum. This promotes saliva production, which will naturally wash the bacteria from your mouth.
- Don’t crack nuts with your teeth– There’s a reason why nutcrackers are popular around the holidays. Cracking hard nut shells can cause tooth and gum damage and even crack your teeth. There are plenty of safe ways to open that bag of pistachios from the gift basket.
- Don’t chew hard candy– Just like nuts, biting into hard treats can be quite damaging to your teeth.
- Limit the chewy treats– taffy and caramel may be festive, but they can stick to your enamel, leaving large sugar deposits. Furthermore, they can pull at and dislodge fillings and crowns. If you must indulge in these treats, be careful and try to avoid them if you wear braces.
- Avoid stress– It can be hard to relax during the holidays, but it is essential to your oral health. nail biting and teeth grinding are two symptoms of stress that can harm your teeth. Try distracting yourself if you feel the urge to do either one. Invest in a bitter tasting nail polish if you’re a nail biter or talk to your dentists in Cary NC to get fitted for a night guard. These will protect your teeth from being worn away.
- Don’t open packages and bottles with your teeth– don’t crack or damage your teeth ripping a package or opening a bottle. Reach for the scissors or wine opener instead.
- Carry a dental emergency kit– Carry a mini toothbrush, toothpaste and floss in your bag. As you visit friends and family’s homes, you never have to be too far from a quick cleaning.
- Don’t neglect your hygiene habits– All the cooking, shopping and prepping for the holidays can throw off our routines. However, there’s no reason you should forget to floss, and brush your teeth morning and night.
- Have an emergency dentist you can call– Many dentist offices are closed during Christmas and New Years. If this is the case for you, ask your dentists in Cary NC for a referral. Likewise, if you are traveling, find the name of a good dentist office that is open in your area. It’s good to be prepared in case of an emergency.
We hope you will protect your smile this holiday and resolve to care for your oral health in the new year. Book an appointment with our dentists in Cary NC every 6 months to keep your smile shining bright throughout the year.