‘Tis the season to be jolly! The holidays are a time for celebration and spending quality time with loved ones. However, indulging in treats and changes in routines can leave us neglecting our oral hygiene.
So how do you keep your teeth and gums healthy while still having a good time with family and friends?
Simply follow these dental tips for holidays, and you’ll be able to maintain oral hygiene and avoid dental problems.
Tip #1: Don’t neglect your daily oral hygiene routine
With all the craziness of the silly season, it’s easy to get off track when it comes to daily oral hygiene. Don’t forget to brush your teeth at least twice a day, or after every meal. Flossing at least once a day should be part of your routine as well. You can swish with an antibacterial mouthwash to get rid of bacteria that brushing and flossing leaves behind. A good quality mouthwash also helps freshen your breath for longer.
Tip #2 Swap sugary treats for healthier options
When we consume sugary foods or beverages, the naturally-occurring bacteria in the mouth feeds on the sugar, creating acid that attacks tooth enamel. Snacking throughout the day can significantly increase your risk of developing cavities and gum disease. While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional splurge on a special occasion, be sure to balance treats with healthy options. Eat plenty of crunchy fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose healthy meat options like lean beef, skinless poultry, and fish. Yoghurt, cheese, and fruit are nutritious snack options that won’t stick to teeth.
Tip #3: Be Prepared When Travelling.
Nothing disrupts our oral hygiene routines more than travelling. However, a little preparation can help you stay on top of your oral health care game. Be sure to pack everything you need to keep your teeth clean. This includes a travel toothbrush, dental floss, a fluoride toothpaste, and a travel-sized mouthwash. If you have Invisalign or braces, you might also need to bring your special cleaning tools and items (e.g. a Waterpik and a container to store aligners)
Tip #4 Drink lots of water
Drinking water regularly helps wash away sugar, harmful acids and food particles. Drinking water is beneficial for your teeth because it keeps your mouth clean. Plaque can’t build up in a clean, hydrated mouth. Acids from plaque, food, and beverages can harm your tooth enamel, but drinking water dilutes acids to help protect your teeth. Swapping beverages such as red wine, tea, coffee and cooldrinks for water will also help prevent teeth staining.
Tip #5 Don’t use your teeth as a bottle opener
Do not use your teeth as tools. Don’t use them to open a packet of chips, crack open a nut, open bottles, etc. This type of activity can weaken the tooth enamel and create delicate edges on your teeth which can lead to cracking and breaking.
Tip #6: Contact us for better oral hygiene
Maintaining good oral hygiene is not that complicated, but the holidays do make things much harder. If you find that you do need help after the holidays– whether you need to fix a chip or a cavity, or you need a good post-holiday cleaning– schedule an appointment with us.
If overindulging in treats has left you with teeth staining, feel free to book a teeth whitening with us in the new year. Our teeth whitening sessions will leave your teeth sparkling white for the New Year!
We’ve helped many people throughout Cape Town (and around the world) keep their smiles happy and healthy, even when holiday temptations are too hard to resist.