20 Dec 5 Ways to Reduce Your Dental Nightmares Over the Holidays
The last thing anyone wants to do over the holiday season is going to the dentist for an emergency visit. You don’t have time for the pain from cavities, needing a filling, or a broken tooth or dental implant. Factor in a possible fear of the dentist or the procedures and the idea of something going wrong at a holiday party can seem like a nightmare.
Avoid late-night emergencies, painful trips to see your dentist, and turning an otherwise happy holiday into a stressful event and take care of your teeth. Here are a few ways to keep your mouth and teeth on track this holiday season.
Decrease the Sweets
You’ve heard the lecture about sweets and tooth decay since before your adult teeth came in, and it’s true! Eating extra sweets with no increase in toothbrushing and flossing can create plenty of problems. But over the holidays, there are other concerns. Some goodies are extremely hard, chewy, gummy, or sticky. If you’ve got a problem tooth or filling, these candies might make them worse. Skip the chewy, sticky stuff and pick another fun food instead.
Drink More Water
During the holidays, it’s normal to drink more wine, alcohol, and other drinks because you’re out at more parties and celebrating. As much as possible, drink more water. Not only will help rinse your teeth, it’s good for you in general. Dark drinks like soda, coffee, and red wine can stain your teeth. And sugary drinks can cause problems with cavities as well as tooth and gum sensitivity.
Choose Healthier Foods
As a general rule, we should all eat healthier. But when you’re taking care of your teeth and avoiding problems, it’s definitely a good idea. Know you shouldn’t eat those homemade caramel candies? Grab an apple or carrot sticks from the fruit and veggie tray. Not only are you taking care of your body, you’re keeping yourself from inadvertently popping a filling out or causing other issues. When you do indulge later, you’ll feel less guilty because you know you’ve been eating healthy, too.
Don’t Open Things With Your Teeth
If you don’t want a natural tooth or dental implant to pop out, break, chip, crack, or otherwise have a serious problem, do not use your teeth as a pair of scissors or a bottle opener. Nothing ruins a holiday party or Christmas morning like the excruciating pain of a dental emergency. And over the holidays getting in to see a dentist can be extremely difficult due to limited hours. Use the appropriate tools for the job and give your teeth a break.
Stick to Your Dental Routine
Got a dentist appointment over the holidays? Don’t skip it. Too tired to brush your teeth? Do it anyway. Even with the best of intentions, this is the season when people drink and eat more and everything has more sugar. As a result, your teeth can get covered in even more plaque. No matter how late you’ve stayed out or how tired you are, don’t forget to brush and floss. And yes, if you scheduled your check-up during the holidays, go anyway. Your dentist may be able to catch a problem before it ruins the rest of the holiday season for you.
Reduce Your Stress
If you know you’re likely to bite your nails or grind your teeth when you get stressed, the holidays can turn that up to another level. Do your best to reduce your stress and avoid the jaw-clenching pain that can come from a night of grinding in your sleep. Take moments to be quiet and alone. Breathe deep. Enjoy the small pleasures in the holidays. And every so often, remember to unclench your jaw.
Your dentist wants to see you for regular check-ups and we definitely want to see you when you have a problem like a broken crown or any kind of pain. What we don’t want is for your holidays to be overshadowed by a dental emergency. Take care of your teeth all the time but especially during the holiday season. Whether you have dental implants to take care of or dental fears you want to avoid, good preventative dental care will keep you out of the dentist’s chair and at the party this holiday season.