The holidays are finally upon us and with them come a lot of exciting happenings. There’s shopping to do, people to visit, food to prepare, and festivities to plan. It’s a great time of the year to have some fun and relax with family and friends!
But that doesn’t mean the holidays always go problem free. There are a lot of things to be careful for over the next few weeks, and we want to share some important oral health tips with you. From our dental care family at Really Smile Dental to your family this holiday season, be safe, enjoy, and keep that smile healthy!
Watch The Sugar Intake
Cookies. Cookies everywhere. And let’s not forget about eggnog, candy canes, and hot cocoa. The holidays are a sweet tooth’s dream, but unfortunately harmful oral bacteria is just as excited as you are to get your hands on some sweet treats.
The bacteria in your mouth that causes gum disease and cavities feeds on sugar. When you eat a treat so does your plaque, and it produces acid afterward. That acid eats away at the enamel on your teeth, causing the beginnings of cavities. The more sweets you eat the more acid is created: bacteria just won’t stop feeding!
Make sure you maintain good oral care habits over the holidays. Be responsible in your sugar intake, brush twice a day, and always floss in the evenings. It’s also important to drink a lot of water, especially if you’re eating a lot of sugar.
Don’t Get Too Stressed
For every one of us that gets super excited about the holidays there’s that friend or family member who just can’t stop stressing out. There’s all that cleaning to do, all that food to prepare, decorations to put up … it’s a good old fashioned holiday freakout in progress!
One of the most common stress symptoms we witness at our Indianapolis dentist office is grinding and clenching teeth. This bad habit is incredibly common in stressful situations and can have some seriously harmful effects on your oral health if it goes on too long!
If you’ve ever had sore facial muscles, a headache when you wake up, sore teeth, or trouble opening your jaw without pain you might be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder, a common condition in chronic teeth grinders. Holiday stress can very well be a cause or a contributor so be careful not to over do things!
We can treat your jaw pain and headaches but we recommend simply taking it easy during the holidays. Designate someone close to you to be your holiday stress thermometer and when they say “stop” just stop! Drink some coffee, have a walk, and take in the holidays with an eye to relax and enjoy your time with loved ones. It could save your brain and your teeth!
Teeth Aren’t Tools
The easy route during holiday festivities is to just tear open those plastic packages, cut those ribbons and tape, and crack nuts and hard snacks with your teeth. Don’t do it: it’s seriously risky! Your teeth aren’t meant to be used as tools no matter how easy it is to do so.
The force required to open a package, crack a nut shell, or even cut a thin ribbon is too much for your teeth to bear. While you might not realize you’re doing damage small microfractures can result that are seriously damaging despite their invisible size. You could also cause chips, cracks, and serious breaks that could ruin your holiday completely. Don’t take the chance: just keep your scissors handy!
Oral Care Goes On Year Round
These tips are important for the holidays but they don’t stop there. Make sure that you’re maintaining good oral health throughout the year by brushing, flossing, limiting sugar, and most importantly by seeing us at Really Smile Dentistry for regular cleanings and exams.
By working together to prevent, diagnose, and treat oral health problems before they become serious we can ensure that your teeth stay healthy and bright all year round! To schedule an appointment at our Indianapolis dentist office call us today at 317-451-4050! You can also request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!