Holiday Healthy Teeth Tips From Dr. Lotardo

The holidays can put your dental health at risk. Though you get normal dental cleanings and checkups at Bella Smiles, your dentist in Riverhead, NY, keeping your oral health up through the holidays is essential. Here’s how to keep your smile sparkling, even with all the tasty holiday treats.

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Keep Up Your Home Health Routine

The holidays can be exhausting. You may just want to fall into bed at the end of the day. However, make sure you’re keeping up with your oral healthcare. Stick to that routine of brushing and flossing twice a day. Your mouth will thank you later.

Avoid Hard Candy

Candy canes and other hard candies are very popular during the holidays. However, consider staying away from them this year. It’s easy to chip or break a tooth on hard candy. They also leave behind a sugary residue on your teeth. Try to satisfy your sweet tooth with a different treat, such as peppermint flavored sugar-free gum.

But Don’t Turn To Chewy Candy Either

Chewy candy is another way teeth get damaged during the holidays. Gummies, caramel, and other chewy treats are being offered everywhere. They stick to your teeth, leaving behind remnants that can cause tooth decay. If you have braces, fillings, or other recent dental work, chewy candy can break wires, pull out fillings, and damage oral appliances and restorations. This means you’ll have to go back to the dentist to get it fixed later.

Open Packaging the Right Way

You can probably expect the kids to want their toys and gadgets opened right away. This doesn’t mean you should forego the proper tools to open them. Trying to rip open a stubborn package with your teeth can lead to cracking or chipping. This means you may need a root canal and a crown or dental bonding to repair that tooth. Taking a minute to grab scissors is definitely worth it.

Use a Nutcracker

Having a bowl of nuts out on the table is common during the holidays. They’re a great snack for protein, and great for picking at while the big meal is still being cooked. However, make sure you’re not trying to crack them open with your teeth. It may sound like a fun competition between family members, but it could lead to a dental emergency. Plus, nutcrackers are a popular decoration, so a helpful tool can be festive as well!

Keep Your Drinks Light

Holidays are a time to indulge, so you may be tempted by more soda, coffee, or red wine than normal. While a glass or two is okay, don’t take this as an opportunity to drink to excess. In addition to the sugar content in some being harmful, these are all darker, acidic drinks. That means they can lead to tooth discoloration. Stick to water or other options that won’t compromise your teeth.

Be Prepared

If you’re traveling for the holidays, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Pack floss, mouthwash, toothpaste, and extra toothbrushes — even if these amenities are offered where you’re staying. If you have your usual tools, you’re more likely to keep up with your routine. Plus, then you’re prepared if those things aren’t offered this time around.

You can indulge during the holidays without compromising your oral health. But if something does happen, call your Riverhead, NY dentist or schedule an appointment online to make sure it gets addressed quickly to avoid more complex problems.