The holiday season is here, which means plenty of delicious foods and drinks tempting your taste buds. Candy canes, cookies, and eggnog can be a recipe for disaster for your waistline and oral health. Believe it or not, the holidays can wreak havoc on your smile if you aren’t careful. Here are 5 reasons the next few weeks can increase your risk of dental problems.
1. Snacking More Frequently
As you gather with friends and family, you’ll be surrounded by a variety of seasonal foods, which means you’ll be snacking more often. Your teeth will be exposed to more cavity-causing bacteria. Instead of brushing and flossing in the morning and at night, commit to brushing after every meal. A travel-sized oral hygiene hit will make it easy to keep your mouth clean, even when you’re not at home.
2. Consuming More Sugar
The holidays are known for candy, cookies, and other sugary foods. Not to mention, eggnog and other beverages with high sugar content can be difficult to resist; however, it’s best to limit sweet treats. If you can’t ignore your sweet tooth, choose chocolate over hard or sticky candies because it doesn’t linger in your mouth for so long. Don’t forget to brush your teeth after you’ve finished.
3. Slacking on Your Oral Hygiene Routine
Life gets pretty busy as you plan celebrations and shop for the perfect gifts. It’s easy to crawl into bed after a long day without brushing your teeth. If you’re traveling for the holidays, it can be difficult to brush and floss when you’re not at home. Slacking on your oral hygiene routine for even a few weeks can lead to bad news at your next dental appointment. Commit to keeping your mouth clean and healthy to avoid cavities and gum disease.
4. Drinking More Alcohol
Red wine with dinner or adding alcohol to your eggnog can lead to a dry mouth. If your mouth is too dry, harmful oral bacteria can get out of control quickly. It’s best to limit your alcohol consumption. If you can’t resist a drink, stay hydrated to keep your mouth moist. Chewing a piece of sugarless gum will also increase saliva production to keep bacteria under control.
5. Skipping Your Routine Cleaning and Checkup
Your schedule can be full during the next few weeks, but delaying your cleaning and checkup can increase your risk of a dental emergency interrupting your holiday plans. Your dentist will remove any buildup and check your mouth for anything concerning, so you’ll have a healthy, beautiful smile for the new year.
You can enjoy the holidays without compromising your dental health. Give your teeth and gums a little extra attention to keep your smile healthy.
About Dr. Archana Lankupalli
Dr. Lankupalli achieved her dental degree at the New York University College of Dentistry and regularly pursues higher education in advanced treatments and techniques, including root canal therapy, dental implants, and Invisalign. If you need an appointment before the end of the year, contact our office today.