The 2021 holiday season is just around the corner, and with it comes many opportunities to eat foods that can damage your teeth and gums. Since the staff at Southbridge Dentistry would like to see patients avoid additional oral health problems in the new year, we offer several tips to help keep your teeth healthy.
Avoid Unhealthy Holiday Treats
Food and candy that is especially chewy, gummy, sticky, sugary, or hard might taste incredible, but the short-term lift you get from them is not worth the damage they cause. Some typical examples of holiday foods that threaten the health of your teeth and gums include:
- Cakes and cookies
- Candy canes
- Chex Mix
- Dried fruit
- Hard candy
- Ice cubes
- Soft mint chews
Not eating these treats at all is your best bet this holiday season, especially if you struggle to stop eating them once you have started. To help make it easier for yourself, weigh the momentary few minutes of pleasure you receive from eating these holiday goodies against the cost of a tooth filling or repairing a cracked tooth. If you are going to indulge (because let’s be honest, who doesn’t like the occasional sweet?), be sure to limit the amount of treats you eat. Also consider brushing your teeth after consuming some of these foods.
Replace Unhealthy Holiday Treats with Healthy Ones
Between people bringing in more treats at work to fielding several holiday party invitations, you will face plenty of temptation this holiday season. Unfortunately, saying no to treats can be difficult when you do not have a back-up plan. We recommend preparing a serving of healthy snacks to eat whenever the opportunity to indulge in teeth-destroying treats presents itself. Try looking up some recipes that can replace some holiday favorites so you’re remaining healthy, but not missing out on all of the fun!
If you will be hosting a party yourself, let guests know that you plan to serve healthy snacks. You still do not need to eat treats you know are not good for you even if someone brings them to your party.
Stick to Your Regular Oral Healthcare Routine
Staying out late at a holiday party and then falling into bed before you brush your teeth is not a good habit to start. The best way to avoid developing new habits that do not serve your oral health is to stick to the good habits you already have. You should continue to brush and floss your teeth each day and pay attention to what you eat.
Do Not Use Your Teeth to Open Anything
Holiday gifts often come in packages that can be challenging to open, leading many people to use their teeth to break open a stubborn seal. We urge you to avoid this practice and reach for a pair of scissors or a pocketknife instead.
Southbridge Dentistry encourages you to schedule a preventive care exam before the holidays if it has been at least six months since your last appointment. Call us at (303) 798-4967 or click here to make your appointment.