Oral Health And The Holidays: Tips For Success
The holidays aren’t far away: we’re mere weeks from the hectic family visits, office parties, time with friends, and all the treats you can shake a sprig of mistletoe at. You might not realize it but this time of year places a lot of stress on your teeth!
At New Albany Implants we want you to know how to get through the holiday season safely. While we’d love to see you in the new year we’d rather it be on better terms than taking care of serious damage to your teeth!
Watch Your Stress Level
High stress levels during the holidays can lead to a lot of bad habits: nail biting, teeth grinding, and jaw clenching are some of the worst on your oral health. Biting your nails can lead to chips in your enamel and other hard-to-notice damage that can lead to decay and other threats to your teeth.
Grinding and clenching can cause problems not just for your teeth but also for your jaw muscles and bone as well. The temporomandibular joint is the one that connects your lower jaw to your skull, and continued grinding can put a lot of stress on it. Over time this can result in temporomandibular joint disorder, causing serious discomfort and pain!
Our tip: take some time for you this holiday season. Whether you need to get out of the house and take a nice, quiet walk on a snowy evening, or you just need some quiet time alone with a loved one it’s important to not overdo it! You should be enjoying the holidays, not stressing out over them!
Watch What You Eat
There are a lot of tempting and dangerous foods around during the holidays. Things like nuts and hard candies can cause damage to your teeth, even going so far as to cause fractures, and of course sugar is there to really make things bad!
Sugar itself isn’t the cavity causer you might think it is: it’s the bacteria in your mouth that loves sugar just as much as you do. When you eat sugary foods and drinks your oral bacteria feasts on it, creating acid byproducts that have an unfortunate side effect: they destroy your teeth.
That acid destruction is where cavities come from. As your teeth are worn away by acid bacteria moves in to fill that space that’s harder to keep clean. It eats away at your teeth, going deeper and deeper: not good!
Specific foods to avoid include pretty much anything chewy and sticky that’s full of sugar, un-shelled nuts, and excessively sweet drinks like eggnog. You can still do a bit of sweet snacking but be sure to keep up on the teeth brushing, flossing, and water drinking. Those three things could save you a lot of new year’s dental care hassles!
Your Teeth Aren’t Tools
For some reason we’ve come to think of our teeth as being the perfect thing to open plastic packages, cut ribbons, and even open bottles! While you might think it’s a feat of strength to get the cap off that beer with nothing but your canine teeth you won’t be feeling so proud when a tooth simply snaps!
We aren’t exaggerating that risk: tooth fractures and serious damage occur from using teeth like tools. Don’t make the mistake of trying to take care of packages, bottles, or nut shells with your teeth: use the appropriate tools. Better yet, give them as gifts to those who you know that are guilty of this oral health sin!
Good Choices = Easier Care
Taking care of your teeth during the holidays is like starting a new year’s resolution early. You’ll be doing yourself a big favor by greeting 2016 with a healthy, undamaged smile. Make the best holiday choices for your oral health by eating well, not relaxing, and using scissors when needed.
As always, you can contact our New Albany dentist office for any oral health concerns you have. We’re here to make sure your teeth stay healthy and your smile stays happy for years to come!