If you’re like most people, you and your family are on-the-go during the holidays. School and work parties, long-distance trips to see family, and plenty of shopping and baking are enough to fill anyone’s calendar! And there’s no shortage of sweet foods and beverages to indulge in either, which, unfortunately, puts your oral health at risk. In fact, an estimated 27% of American adults have undiagnosed cavities, so it’s well worth it to be proactive about prevention around this time of year. Keep reading below to get 5 tips from an emergency dentist for staying cavity-free this holiday season!
1. Don’t Use Your Teeth as Tools
At a holiday party, it’s tempting to use your teeth to crack nuts or open bottles and packages, but that convenience can cost you. You can easily break a tooth as well as existing dental work like bridges, crowns and fillings.
Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid this by using a nutcracker, bottle-opener or pair of scissors instead.
2. Keep Some Floss On Hand
It’s always a good idea to keep some floss around in case you eat something like an orange or a stringy piece of meat that gets stuck between your teeth. And, you never know when someone else will need some floss as well – you might as well be prepared.
3. Avoid Certain Foods
Anything that adheres to your teeth or remains in your mouth for a long period of time is more likely to cause cavities, so minimize foods like caramel, toffee and hard candies.
Also, be careful when eating anything hard or crunchy like peanut brittle. The last thing you want to do is break a tooth and need emergency care at an inconvenient time like New Year’s Eve!
4. Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Stock up on your favorite sugar-free gum and keep some in the car, at work or in your purse. It’s a surprisingly effective way to counteract the effects of consuming a lot of sugar during the holidays.
Sugar-free gum stimulates salivary flow to wash away plaque and food debris. It also neutralizes the acids that cause cavities. Not to mention that it keeps your breath fresh, which is something everyone can appreciate at a holiday party.
5. Schedule a Checkup
Scheduling a checkup is one of the best ways to prevent an unexpected dental problem during the holidays. In addition to getting your teeth polished so your smile looks great, you’ll find out if you have any undiagnosed problems that need to be treated before the holidays.
With these 5 tips, you can make sure you spend this holiday season having fun, rather than sitting in a dental chair!
About the Author
Dr. Robert Long is a general and emergency dentist who not only provides outstanding emergency care, but also focuses on prevention. His goal is to help his patients enjoy the holidays as much as possible and stay cavity-free at the same time. If you have any other questions about good oral health during the holidays, he can be reached via his website or at (972) 775-3192.