The holiday season is all about traditions. Many of those traditions consist of food. This food brings us memories of past holidays that we have cherished, as well as emphasizes our heritage. Ultimately, holiday food traditions serve as a unique way to further unite us with those closest to us. Consider all the sweet and savory confections that your family and friends bring to the table each year. These might be treats that you only eat once a year.
While you should certainly be able to celebrate the holidays without worrying about the status of your teeth, the last few months of the year are when you need dental advice the most. You are indulging in things that aren’t necessarily the best for your oral health. The key is to be cautious, especially if you are prone to cavities and tooth or jaw pain. Check out the latest collection of seven tips from dental clinics in Texas that you should be mindful of this holiday season.
You don’t have to overload the dinner table with cakes, cookies, and pies. Those are going to be the treats that draw the eyes of the kids—and many of the adults—in the room. But they should enjoy some options that are healthier for both their mouths and bodies. Find creative ways to integrate fruits and vegetables into your holiday spread. These fun dishes might become your new staples for seasonal entertaining! Today, food boards are incredibly popular at parties, so displaying healthy foods in that way can be a hit. There are also ways to make these foods more fun for the kids. An example is cutting fruits and vegetables into holiday-specific shapes and characters. Who wouldn’t love a reindeer made out of celery and peanut butter?
The professionals at dental clinics in Texas know that it is a challenge to say no to holiday goodies. Unfortunately, though, depending on your situation, it would be in your best interest to pass them up. For instance, if you suffer from TMJ disorder, your dentist or oral surgeon may have already informed you to limit your chewy food intake. Crusty bread, caramel, and candy canes will put a strain on your jaw. This will exacerbate your TMJ disorder symptoms. After the holidays, this may result in you having to visit your surgeon for a therapeutic procedure, such as Botox injection treatments or an extraction for a broken tooth. Focus, instead, on the soft food options.
The holidays are a time when you might have a lot of alcohol, soda, and cider on hand. But make sure that you are getting your daily water intake. Your body will appreciate it. Water helps to keep your skin hydrated, freshen your breath, and eliminate digestion problems. There is also a connection between water and oral health. If bacteria are left alone in your mouth, they will turn to acid. That acid wears away the enamel on your teeth. Luckily, when you drink water, you dilute the acid in your mouth and ultimately fend off tooth decay. Every dental clinic in Texas recommends staying hydrated if you want to prevent gingivitis and give yourself a whiter smile.
Teeth can seem like the perfect tools. When your hands are full, you can use them to open anything from envelopes to bottles. The question is… Should you use them like that? Any dental clinic in Texas will encourage you to look for letter and bottle openers rather than using your teeth. The same goes for when you are opening packages. Your teeth are there for chewing food, not for supplementing a tool that you couldn’t quickly locate. You have the potential to permanently damage your teeth when you misuse them, resulting in the need for fillings, crowns, or dental implants. Many people have fallen into an addictive cycle of chewing random objects, such as pen caps. Keep your teeth focused on your healthy holiday treats.
When food gets stuck between your teeth, it can be very bothersome. Think back to a time when you had a popcorn kernel that took you far too long to dislodge. If you are experiencing a similar problem at someone else’s home, not being able to run to the bathroom and take care of it is a frustration that you don’t want. Leave a container of floss in your car, bag, or pocket. This gives you easy access to it when you need it. Make sure that you and your children enjoy a good flossing when you get home after the party, too.
Be proactive with your oral health. Even if you aren’t home for the holidays, you must maintain your brushing and flossing schedule. A dental clinic in Texas will tell you that, with all the sweet treats, the end of the year is the most critical time to drive cavities away. As you know, letting sugar sit on your teeth for too long could eat away at your tooth enamel. So, use fluoride toothpaste that fights germs and adds a protective barrier to your teeth. Find ways to further improve your oral health in the new year, as well. Next time you see your dentist, consider asking them for mouthwash recommendations to integrate into your routine.
After the holidays, don’t forget that you should get in for a regular cleaning visit with your dentist. It may be the case that you already scheduled your appointment six months in advance. In which case, congratulate yourself on top of things! Dental clinics in Texas know that this is one of the busiest times of the year. However, that shouldn’t mean you and your children miss out on your always-important check-ups. This way, you all get to wrap up the year or start the new year with fresh, cavity-free smiles.
It might be the case that you need an oral and maxillofacial surgeon this holiday season. If you have been experiencing any mouth pain, get in touch with a professional. Consider reaching out to our team in the heart of Texas about any services you are in need of. Whether it’s wisdom teeth removal surgery, denture preparation, or dental implants, Dr. Alford has you covered. Choose from our offices in Lakeway or Bastrop, Texas to schedule your consultation and procedure.