Keep Your Smile Healthy During The Holidays

Are you surviving out there, Dallas? Did you make it through the artic blast we experienced last week? Did your system experience shock at the days of gray and bitter cold rain that Texans are just not accustomed to in October? It’s true that we are comfortable with the schizophrenic behavior of North Texas weather, and mostly we embrace it as one of those quirky, loveable personality traits of this entirely unique state…

But this might have been a bit much a bit soon. No?

Either way, the frigid air combined with the insatiable urge to gather firewood and sip hot beverages acted as a rude awakening that…the HOLIDAYS are coming. How did we already get here? Is Halloween really upon us? Is Thanksgiving really just around the corner? Everyone keeps saying how particularly slow this year has dragged on, but in many ways it seems as though the year has also gone rushing by. 2020 – you really have outdone yourself this time.

Since we’re here and there’s really nothing we can do about it, then it’s time to talk about how to make the most of the holiday season. And particularly how to keep your smile healthy during the holidays. Have you stopped to consider that having a healthy holiday season – even DURING the pandemic! – is actually a possibility? And it’s not about restrictive diets or ascetic behaviors. If anything, we all need a season of celebration, filled with activities, people and even foods that we enjoy! And since we know that the season will also be filled with selfies and family photos, we want to be sure we help our patients do everything they can to have HEALTHY and BEAUTIFUL smiles during the holiday season.

So what can you do? Follow these 4 tips for optimal oral and dental health from Halloween through the New Year.

1. Start the holidays off on a CLEAN slate.

This may go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway…preventative periodontal care and maintenance is absolutely essential to keeping your smile healthy and beautiful! So if you have NOT had your regular hygiene appointment in the past 3 to 6 months, then it’s time to come on in for a professional cleaning. Periodontal disease occurs when plaque – that sticky substance or film on your teeth – builds up and hardens. Regular removal of plaque and build-up through professional cleanings is one of the best defenses against swollen, bleeding and painful gum disease.

2. Be strategic about WHEN you eat your sweets.

Did you know that the timing of eating your sweets – as well as what you do afterward – can have an impact on the effect that sweets have on your mouth? If you’re hitting up the Thanksgiving buffet, then go ahead and put that pumpkin pie on your plate along with the turkey and stuffing. Eating sweets with a balanced meal can actually help keep the sugar from clinging to your teeth while the increased saliva production during regular mealtime can aid in protecting against bacteria. Just don’t forget to brush afterward if you can! If you can’t brush your teeth immediately after eating sweets, then at least do a thorough rinse with water to remove lingering foods or sticky, sugary substances.

3. AVOID the caramels, the crack and the crunch.

Popcorn balls, sticky caramels, hard candies and cracking nuts with your teeth can all wreak havoc on your oral health. If you have a choice, avoid these and instead opt for something lighter, softer or just less likely to get stuck in between your teeth. Your gums will thank you!

4. Be prepared!

Just as we’ve all grown accustomed to keeping an extra mask stashed in our desks at work, our glove boxes or purses for an emergency, do the same with a small dental hygiene kit. Keep some floss, a toothbrush and a small tube of toothpaste, or maybe just some mouthwash, in a zipper pouch in your car or purse. The holiday season is notorious for keeping us all on the go, so make sure you have what you need to keep those teeth sparkling and clean no matter where you go or how late you stay out.

The season of sweets and stress is finally here (as if we haven’t already had enough of that in 2020!)! But don’t let that scare you or stop you from fully enjoying the days ahead. You CAN stay healthy during the holidays. Your teeth CAN stay white and camera-ready. And you CAN smile and laugh with confidence.

Ready to schedule that appointment for a healthier, cleaner smile during the holidays? Call Dallas periodontist, Charles Orth, DDS, today! Our team specializes in excellent care and is ready to help you achieve a lifetime of oral health.

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