Tis the season to be jolly…
It can be strongly argued that the Holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, with back-to-school being a close second (for parents). But, like Billy Peltzer’s Kingston Falls, Gremlins can make an appearance.
From Aunt Betty’s infamous fudge to Grandma’s impenetrable fruitcake—channeling the ghosts of Christmases past—your smile may be at risk. After all, there are holiday parties to attend and photos to be taken, some of which, you will want to cherish for a lifetime. Here are a few practical tips on how to keep your smile looking its festive best through the holiday season and into the New Year!
Structured meal times
All the treats coming into the office, after work gatherings and weekends full of holiday revelry can take a serious toll on your smile. The types of food and drinks available at soirees often contain large quantities of sugar, coupled with increased opportunities for snacking, maintain a constant sugar glaze on your teeth. When you “graze” over longer periods of time throughout the day and into the night, the steady stream of sugar in your mouth coats your teeth and mouth with sugar. This sugar glaze can cause erosion of the enamel on your teeth, which can promote cavities or worse. Alcohol consumption can lead to dry mouth and a reduced saliva production thus creating ideal conditions for bacteria growth in the mouth.
PRO TIP: For your waistline and your oral health, try to stick to more structured meal times and if you cannot brush and floss after your festivities, at least rinse your mouth with water.
This goes without saying. It can be tempting to indulge because it is after all “only once a year”. However, January 1 will be here before you know it! Not only will you want to fit in your jeans, you can probably think of better ways to spend your time and money than dealing with cavities!
PRO TIP: If there are just too many amazing choices for dessert, try a small portion of several sweets. Follow up your treat with an apple slice or a carrot stick to help cleanse your mouth.
Teeth are NOT tools
Say it with us. "Teeth are NOT tools."
No matter who you want to impress, a toothless grin isn’t cute after age 6. DO NOT open packages or (gasp!) bottles with your mouth. That is akin to taking the express train to your dentist’s office.
PRO TIP: Scissors and bottle openers are everywhere. Use them.
Don’t skip brushing
We get it. You’ve been out late and you want to go straight to bed when you get home. The dog is still going to want a walk and the kids are guaranteed to be up before the sun so you think there’s not a moment to spare! Actually, there are two moments you should spare.
Simply put—when you overlook brushing, you allow bacteria to build in the mouth. The immune system responds by sending inflammatory chemicals to those areas to kill the bacteria. In addition to combating bacteria, those chemicals cause soft tissue and ligament damage. Those tissues and ligaments hold your teeth in the jawbone. Trust us when we tell you that is a connection you want to keep tight!
PRO TIP: Literally, brush your teeth for two minutes. And don’t forget to keep your biannual wellness appointment with your dentist because you are too busy with the holidays!
Stuff your own stocking
One of the healthiest and most enjoyable ways to care for your smile is to use an electric toothbrush. The toothbrush does all the heavy lifting and can go beyond the efforts possible with a manual toothbrush (i.e. get in the nooks and crannies). We highly recommend the Sonicare Diamondclean toothbrush. It is clinically proven to give you a healthier, whiter smile in as little as two weeks.
PRO TIP: Give yourself the gift of better oral health and a brighter smile this holiday! Stanley Dentistry, a family, implant and cosmetic dentist in Cary NC is offering $20 off a Sonicare Diamondclean purchase. Stack that savings with the Sonicare $20 online rebate and the tax savings you receive ONLY when purchased in the dental office and you get a better price than Amazon can offer!
Happy Holidays from your friends at Stanley Dentistry!