‘Tis the season to eat, drink, and be merry! The holidays are a special time of year to enjoy delicious food and drink while celebrating with family and friends. However, too much of the Fa La La can also lead to tooth damage, decay, and cavities. At Anantuni Family Dental in Chandler, Arizona, we’ve also noticed an increase in dislodged crowns, fractured fillings, and even fractured teeth following the holiday season. Starting the New Year with dental issues isn’t fun for anyone!
Luckily, there are ways to enjoy the festivities without severely impacting your teeth. We’ve rounded up our top tips for mindfully celebrating the holidays without sacrificing your oral health.
If it’s sticky, be picky.
Sticky holiday foods such as taffy, licorice, and caramels can wreak havoc on our teeth. While dried fruit is often considered a healthy snack, the sticky consistency makes it a culprit for dislodged crowns. If a sticky treat is a must, we suggest limiting them to just your absolute favorite, and be sure to rinse your mouth and brush well when you’re finished.
During this time of year, classic holiday cocktails are just too enticing to completely avoid! We recommend practicing moderation. Before you head to the party, determine your maximum amount of alcoholic drinks and stick to it. Drink one full glass of water in between cocktails. Not only will you feel better the next day, but you won’t wake up with “dry mouth” from excessive alcohol, which can be damaging to your oral health.
The optimal time to eat sweets.
During the holiday season, sweet, sugary treats are oftentimes a staple in celebrations. And it’s OK to enjoy them! But it’s important to note when you’re eating the cookies, candies, or dessert. We suggest eating your sweet treat as soon as possible after the main meal. That’s because your salivary glands are already activated and like magic elves, they help wash away food particles.
Hard candies can have hard consequences…
Hard candies such as lollipops and peppermints are full of sugar. Plus, biting on hard candy can quickly lead to a dental emergency for a chipped, or worse, broken tooth. Ouch!
… and so can soft, starchy foods.
Soft-textured sweets such as cookies and cakes aren’t necessarily better for our teeth. Oftentimes particles from these foods get lodged in the crevices between our teeth. We recommend carefully brushing and flossing after indulging in these holiday treats.
Lastly, enjoy yourself!
We all deserve some time to give, receive, honor traditions, and make fun-filled memories with family and friends. It’s OK to indulge. Doing so mindfully, and with a plan for caring for your teeth will help ensure that you won’t kick the New Year off with cavities or damage to your teeth.
We hope you enjoy your holidays with good health and cheer! Be sure your 2022 oral health checkup is on the calendar. Contact us today if you need to schedule your next cleaning!