Avoid the Dental Dangers of the Holidays!

Beware of friends bearing peanut brittle. The Holidays are upon us!

Holiday season is officially here. And it truly is the most wonderful time of year. But it’s happens to be the season that comes with tooth damage, cavities and gum disease – oh, my.

Keep your teeth out of harms way for the Holidays! As your friendly neighborhood Burien dentist, we’re not here to play Scrooge and be a buzz kill during your time of abandoned merrymaking. We just want to protect your teeth throughout the season of  joy, and keep them out of harms way from all the treats, travel and stress that can come along this time of year. 

Our wish to you is that you can enjoy and sample the best of what the Holidays bring, while avoiding any cracked or chipped teeth, toothaches, stained teeth, cavities or gum disease.

As you wander through this year’s Holiday wonderland, here are some things to consider to help keep your Holiday’s festive, painless and dental emergency free!

8 Tips for Your Oral Health This Holiday Season!

  1. Don’t Use Your Mouth As a Swiss Army Knife – It’s easy to get lost in the moment during the holidays. You might be tempted to use your mouth to pull out a wine cork, rip open gift wrapping, cut tape or twine, crack nuts, or for some other task. Don’t. Your teeth help you eat, talk and smile. And that’s it. Use scissors, bottle openers and clippers for any other tasks.  It’s a nice gift to give your teeth and keep them free of cracks, chips and other dental damage. Here are some surprising ways you can harm your teeth throughout the year!
  2. Beware of White Wine & Other Sneaky Teeth Staining Culprits – Some of the biggest joys of the Holidays are the treats you can drink and eat. Some of these can also stain your teeth, such as red wine, cranberry sauce, punch and berry pies. There are also some teeth staining culprits that stain your teeth indirectly, such as white wine. Unlike red wine, drinking a glass of white wine by itself won’t stain your teeth. It’s the foods that you eat with the wine that stain your teeth. How? White wine is high in acidity, which can wear down the enamel of your teeth, making them more susceptible to “absorbing” stains from other foods and drinks. Some other sneaky staining culprits include clear sodas, and sparkling ciders. Here are some tips to reduce tooth stains + some other foods that stain teeth.
  3. Careful Biting into that Candy Cane  – After diamonds, enamel is the second hardest compound in the world. And your tooth enamel is the strongest substance in your body. It’s tough, but not always tough enough to withstand the ravages of time and some Holiday treats – candy canes, peanut brittle, sugared nuts, and popcorn balls with hidden kernels!  Too much of some of these treats can lead to a cracked, and damaged teeth. They can also damage existing restorations like crowns, fillings or veneers.  If you can’t avoid these treats, be mindful chewing them. Making it through the Holidays without a broken tooth or any tooth pain might be one of the best presents!
  4. Keep Stress from Harming Your Teeth  – Holiday stress can lead to damaged teeth.  According to  American Psychological Association, stress and anxiety levels increase during the Holiday season. Unfortunately, many of us tend to take this stress out on our teeth. On-going teeth grinding and teeth clenching wear down and damage your teeth. Unfortunately, many of us don’t even know we’re doing it, as teeth grinding often takes place during our sleep. Are you? If so, you could benefit by wearing a custom made night guard. It’s a great gift to protect your teeth from your increased stress. Here are the 7 signs that you grind your teeth!
  5. Sticky Treats Damage Dental Work – Sticky treats will be within most people’s  grasp this season. Toffies, taffies, caramels, maybe even fruit cake. What’s the harm? If you’ve had existing dental work you might be mindful how you chew these treats. They can an pull out or damage a filling or dental crown, or they could cause an unstable tooth to break. And because these treats are sticky,  they can get stuck in areas of your teeth that are difficult to brush. The longer these sugary remnants are trapped within your teeth, the more likely they are to promote tooth decay and cavities.
  6. Holiday Travel + Gatherings Can Disrupt Your Schedule – Traveling for the Holidays? If you are, you’re not alone. 42% of Americans plan to travel for the Holidays this year. Don’t let your travel interfere with your routine oral hygiene – pack your brush, floss and whatever else you use to keep your teeth clean. Even if you aren’t traveling, your daily dental hygiene routine could be challenged by an increase of events and gatherings to attend. Wherever you go this Holiday season, near or far, don’t forget to include time to care for your teeth, and try not to rush it. Plaque and tartar are two of your teeth’s biggest enemies – they promote gum disease and cavities. And they never take time off – in fact they can start building up on your teeth in only hours after you eat. P.S. Keep flossing for the Holidays – master the secret art of flossing here!
  7. Sip Sweet Drinks in Moderation – ‘Tis the season for sweet drinks. Whether they’re served hot, cold, or with alcohol, sip these drinks in moderation. Whether it’s eggnog, spiced cider, fruit punch, or mulled wine, these drinks are high in sugars. And when you drink them warm or hot, you’re more likely to sip them. This gives the drink’s sugars additional time to linger in your mouth to wear down tooth enamel and create ho-ho-holes. Alcoholic beverages can dehydrate you, as well, which will reduce your saliva flow. This too enhances your risks of tooth decay and gum disease. Tip: If you’re drinking adult beverages, keep the water flowing too, which will boost your saliva! Here’s why your saliva is your mouth’s super-hero!
  8. Use Your Unused Benefits Now Before the New Year! – What do your annual dental benefits and this year have in common? Both are coming to end very soon. If you’ve diligently paid your dental insurance premiums every moth, or you still have some remaining funds in your Flexible Spending Account (FSA), now is the time to put these benefits to work before they slip away on January 1st!  Here are 5 Reasons to Use Unused Benefits Before the Year Ends!

Enjoy the Holidays But Don’t Forget Your Teeth!

Not missing your daily oral hygiene routine (brushing and flossing) is one of the best ways to keep the cavities and gum disease away. If you’re not into flossing, here are some alternatives! As for the treats of the season, be mindful of what you’re biting into or sipping. Drinking lots of water throughout the day will work wonders to wash away any acids, sugars and food particles that linger on your teeth. The longer your teeth are exposed to sugary or acidic foods the easier it is for bacteria to create cavities and gum infections – aka gum disease. .

Need to schedule a last minute teeth whitening for an upcoming Holiday gathering? How about a teeth cleaning or having something fixed before the Holidays? Now is the time to get on the schedule as the year-end rush is already on! Just call us  at (206) 242-0066 or reach out to us online. Not sure whether you still have any unused dental benefits to use? Please ask us!

From all of us at Beffa Dental we hope your Holidays are merry and filled with good cheer!

P.S. Keep Smiling During the Holidays- Every Smile Brings 5 Big Benefits!

Related Posts