The holiday season is here, and that means you should be spending quality time with your friends and family. Do you know what it shouldn’t mean? Sitting in the dental chair. However, many people are careless about their oral health around the holidays and end up having to pay their dentist a holiday visit. Luckily, a dentist is here with five tips for keeping your teeth healthy this time of year.
1. Use Your Teeth for Eating Only
Opening presents can be so exciting that you might be tempted to rip open the packaging with your teeth. However, your teeth are simply not the right tools for the job. Opening a present or popping off a stubborn bottle cap may chip or break your tooth. You might require a crown or even a root canal if this happens. Use scissors or a bottle opener instead and save your teeth the trouble.
2. Don’t Crack Nuts with Your Teeth
Instead, use a nutcracker. After all, its purpose is right there in its name. You might think it looks cool to crack open nuts with your teeth, but you know what doesn’t look cool? A broken or chipped tooth. If you’re going to snack on nuts this holiday season, shell them with nutcracker beforehand.
3. Avoid Chewing on Ice Cubes or Hard Candy
Chowing down on items like hard candy or ice might, like the items listed above, lead to a chipped or broken tooth, which are incredibly painful and can require expensive treatment. Whether you’re enjoying a holiday sweet treat or finishing off the ice in your cocktail, let the hard object dissolve naturally in your mouth.
4. Say “No” to Chewy Treats
Chewy candies bathe your teeth in a coat of sugar, attracting bacteria that cause tooth decay. Additionally, sticky treats like caramel and taffy can dislodge fillings or crowns. To keep the sugar from sticking to your teeth, rinse your mouth out with water afterwards, or chew sugar-free gum. Or, better yet, brush your teeth immediately afterwards.
5. Stop Biting Your Nails
The holiday season can be stressful, and when we’re anxious, we often develop bad habits like biting our nails. Nail biting has been linked to TMJ disorder, teeth grinding, and even sensitive teeth, as it can wear down your tooth enamel. If you get the urge to chew on your nails, pop in a piece of sugar-free gum instead. It will satisfy your craving to chew something while also cleaning your teeth.
About the Author
Dr. Christopher J. Holland obtained his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1990 from the prestigious University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Now, with more than a quarter century of dental experience under his belt, Dr. Holland practices at New Image Dentistry in San Antonio. He has trained extensively in various subjects like Invisalign, dental implants, sedation dentistry, and treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. To learn more ways to keep your teeth healthy over the holidays, you can visit Dr. Holland’s website or call (210) 804-1558.