It’s the loveliest time of the year, but your teeth may not agree if you don’t take the necessary measures over the holidays.

While enjoying Christmas delicacies and sweets, you can maintain a cavity-free smile. To ensure your teeth and gums have a holly, jolly good time all season long, follow our five holiday oral health guidelines. 

1. Make certain you’ve received your annual dental examination:

Isn’t the holiday season a sign that the year is drawing to a close? Have you had your dental check-up in a while?

Regular professional hygiene appointments will keep your teeth and oral health in good shape. This is also a good opportunity to schedule an appointment if you have any concerns about your teeth, gums, throat, cheeks, or tongue. Before you hit the road, have your teeth checked to see if there are any abnormalities that could make your holiday trip less than enjoyable. A comprehensive examination will allow your dentist to evaluate if any underlying conditions require treatment and address any concerns you may have about your dental health.

If you don’t have time to arrange an appointment before the end of the year, start the year off right with a hygiene appointment. It’s the ideal time to plan a visit for yourself or your entire family. 

2. Maintain your normal dental hygiene practise:

It’s easy to get off track when it comes to everyday dental hygiene over the holiday season, what with all the hustle and bustle. Brushing your teeth after each meal, or at least twice a day, is essential. Daily flossing should also be a part of your routine.

Because travelling can make it more difficult to stick to your regimen, you should always bring a comprehensive dental care kit with you. This is an excellent time to upgrade your oral hygiene equipment. For the vacation, buy a new toothbrush and bring lots of floss and toothpaste. Don’t forget your tongue scraper and travel-size bottles of mouthwash with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. 

3. Hard candy and chewy snacks should be avoided:

You should avoid hard candy, just as you should avoid using your teeth as a nutcracker. You can harm your teeth not only by biting down on the candy, but also by chewing on the sticky residue left by candy canes and other hard candies.

During the holiday season, chewy candies like caramel and gummies are very popular. Sugary residue left by chewy candies and sweets damages tooth enamel and can contribute to tooth decay.

4. Drinks that stain should be avoided:

This is true in every season. With the busy schedules and cooler weather of the Christmas season, the consumption of hot beverages such as cider, hot cocoa, eggnog, and gourmet coffees naturally rises. These delectable beverages, however, can be detrimental to your teeth. Red and white wines, as well as hot and cold teas, can cause problems. These drinks include tannins, a substance that causes colour compounds to adhere to your teeth, leaving a yellow or brown stain. One cup of one of these beverages every day is all it takes to discolour your teeth.

These drinks, in addition to colouring teeth, can also leave a sugary residue that can cause enamel erosion. Coffee can also promote bacterial growth in your mouth, causing tooth and enamel loss. Because it adheres to your tongue, it also creates bad breath. Following consumption of these beverages, clean your teeth, scrape your tongue, and rinse with an approved mouthwash.

5. Use a nutcracker to crack the nuts:

Every winter season, a variety of nuts are consumed as a traditional Christmas delicacy. While walnuts, almonds, pecans, and chestnuts offer a healthier alternative to sweet snacks, shelling them should not put your teeth to the test. To avoid an emergency trip to the dentist, use the proper nutcrackers. A broken tooth can cause a variety of symptoms, including unpredictable pain and excessive sensitivity to hot or cold conditions. To minimise further injury and damage, consult your dentist as soon as possible if you suspect a broken tooth. The type of fracture, its location, and the amount of the damage determine the treatment for a cracked tooth. To avoid this danger, refrain from using your teeth as utensils in the kitchen.

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Nurse Practitioner Nadine McFarlane is a board certified Family Medicine Nurse Practitioner who provides primary care

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Sunday - Friday: 8:00 am - 10:00 pmSaturday: Closed


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