With the kids out of school, holiday parties, and time spent traveling to see loved ones, this time of year can catch you off guard if you need urgent dental care. It’s also a great time to catch up on any dental treatment that you need. Here are some important dental tips for Christmas that are sure to leave you smiling:
Dental Tips for Christmas
Drinking water can help prevent dental problems by helping rinse away sugar and preventing excess plaque and bacteria from sticking to your teeth. By drinking plenty of water throughout the day, you can also wash away food particles and reduce your risk of bad breath. And if you can’t brush right away, rinse your mouth with water to neutralize acids.
Spend More Time Brushing Your Teeth
Take at least two minutes to brush your teeth (most of us only spend 30 seconds brushing if we aren’t paying attention.) Hopefully, you have some holiday tunes playing around the house—or maybe your child is practicing for their recital—use Christmas songs to time how long you’re brushing. If you make it entirely from start to finish, you’ve definitely brushed as long as you should!
Since the kids are out of school, there’s also extra time to brush their teeth! Brush three times a day instead of twice to fight plaque and cavities. Brushing more often will also decrease the risk of gum disease. And make sure to floss every day, too.
Limit Your Snacking
It’s hard not to snack during the holidays. Frequent snacking means more plaque on teeth. So, we recommend limiting your snacking to specific times during the day rather than constantly “grazing.” Why? Because each time you eat something, it creates about 30 minutes of acid exposure on your teeth afterward. If you do snack between meals, be sure to rinse with water immediately afterward to lower the level of sugar or bacterial byproducts in your mouth.
Choose Soft Food Over Sticky, Crunchy Holiday Treats
It’s a good idea to try and stick to softer foods and snacks as you avoid sticky ones. Sticky foods like hard toffee or caramel can really be hard on your teeth, causing them to chip or stick to dental work. The last thing you want to happen over the Christmas break is to pull out a filling or crown.
Instead, try to eat softer snacks like warm cookies or pudding. They won’t hurt your dental work and are easier to clean off your teeth.
Wear a Mouthguard for Cold Weather Sports
Whether it’s a ski trip, a family ice skating outing, or a pick-up hockey game, make sure a mouthguard is involved. Protective mouthguards will cut your risk of a major dental emergency like a broken or knocked-out tooth. They also reduce the chances of a concussion during hard falls or hits to the face.
Catch Up on Your Dental Checkups
Now that the kids are on a holiday break from school is a perfect time to catch up on checkups. Especially if you have dental insurance, as most plans reset on January first. Right now, there are still openings available, but it’s important to call early.
Similarly, if you have any dental work that needs to be completed, now is a great opportunity to do just that. It will save you from taking off extra days from work (for dental appointments) and you’ll be able to use your insurance benefits before they expire. The longer issues like decay or cracked teeth go unaddressed, the more problematic they become. Earlier treatments save your smile and your wallet.
Family Dentist Near You
Are you or your family due for a dental cleaning in San Diego? Then it’s time to call Fifth Avenue Dental Arts. Our dental clinic (San Diego) offers comprehensive oral health services for patients of all ages, including emergency dental care over the holiday season.
Contact us today to reserve your next appointment!