It’s hard to believe, but the holiday season is upon us yet again. It’s the season of good will and giving, but Dr. Real advises his patients to give themselves the best gift of all during this holiday season: a bright, healthy smile! The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) has noted that maintaining good oral hygiene during the holidays is of utmost importance.
AGD spokesperson George Shepley, DDS, MAGD, notes that “holiday get togethers tend to lead people to consume sugary treats and drink alcoholic beverages more than usual,” making it vital that you brush and floss on a daily basis. “Additionally, with their busy schedules and increased stress levels…oral hygiene suffers.”
Here are Dr. Real’s healthy teeth tips:
Lay off the wine: red, white, blush, or burgundy, the level of acidity in wine can eat away at the protective enamel surrounding your teeth. Enamel is a critical component in keeping your teeth free of decay and cavities. Avoid damage by refraining from swishing wine around your mouth, and rinse with water in between drinks to rid your teeth of the acid.
Cut back on the sugary treats: candy canes, chocolate, and gingerbread cookies are full of sugar, and bacteria in the mouth thrive on it! If you aren’t in a place to floss and brush after eating something sweet, drink a glass of water or chew sugar free gum. Both of these increase saliva in the mouth and help rinse away bacteria.
Relax! Stress can cause teeth grinding or clenching, which in turn causes jaw pain, chipped teeth, and headaches. The holidays definitely bring with them a hustle and bustle not seen at other times during the year, but it is important to carve out some down time and relax. If you find that you are grinding or clenching your teeth often (or if you wake up with a white line on the inside of your cheeks), you might be in need of a custom night guard.
The most important step you can take towards good oral hygiene is a proactive one: brush and floss twice daily and be sure to keep up with your dental exams (at least two per year)! Contact Dr. Real today to make an appointment!