We’ve grown up on Christmas carols, including the adorable teeth-friendly “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.” It’s a good tactic to remind our children and ourselves about dental health during the holidays. To rephrase the Christmas song, all we want for Christmas is our pearly whites to remain so at their shining best.
The reminder holds good, even more so, during the pandemic holiday season. As we get ready to celebrate the holidays this year, the CDC recommends celebrating the holiday season at home with the ones who live with you. Holiday-related gatherings and travel are not advisable to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
With the country registering 15M COVID-19 cases and counting, the holiday season comes as a welcome break to dispel the gloom. In this article, we bring you 12 dental tips to keep you smiling throughout the holiday season and after.
Tip 1: Eat more vegetables
Skip or limit the cookies and cakes, which are a regular feature of the Christmas fare. Pile on and eat more vegetables and leafy greens on your plate.
Carrot and broccoli are rich in Vitamin A, which strengthens your tooth enamel. Make leafy greens such as spinach, kale, collard greens your best dental friends. They make natural teeth lubricants, as the high fiber content in them aids more chewing and saliva production, which helps wash the teeth. When thoroughly washed and eaten raw, they massage the gums, stimulating blood flow. Opt for more vegetables and leafy greens for your holiday meals.
Tip 2: More calcium foods, please
Dairy foods such as yogurt, ice cream, and cheese are rich in calcium, which are good for teeth development and lessen the harmful effects of acidic beverages by balancing the PH in the mouth. Cheese is also high in the protein casein, which fights off cavities and phosphorus, which aids in teeth remineralization and helps prevent cavities.
Tip 3: Limit sugar
The holiday season is marked for its traditional sugary treats, such as peppermint candies, cakes, cookies, chewy toffees, and caramel. The sweet treats leave an acidic biofilm that dissolves the essential teeth minerals, leading to decay. The sugar also feeds the bacteria that cause teeth decay. Limit your sugar intake, and follow with drinking water, brushing, and flossing your teeth.
Tip 4: Have more fruit
A safer option for those with a sweet tooth is fresh fruit. Fresh fruit makes a much better choice than the sticky, dried fruits, which are part of the holiday fare.
Fresh berries are a good option for their nutrients and antioxidants. Remember that ’tis the season for cranberries, too! Berries and cream don’t just make delicious desserts but are good for your teeth as well. Be aware that berries can be acidic, so follow with drinking water or brush after thirty minutes of eating them.
A good strategy is to have one main sweet course like a cake or pie and have a platter of various kinds of fruit and cheese as sides.
Tip 5: Go Nuts
You do not have to avoid nuts in fear of breaking or chipping your teeth. Nuts fill in our natural urge for some crunch. They are fun and healthy as they have high vitamins, minerals, phosphorus, and calcium content. However, crack nuts with a nutcracker, and not your teeth!
Tip 6: Think lean
Lean meat is a good healthy option. Lean white meat, such as chicken, turkey, and fish, is even better as it is an excellent source of protein and phosphorus. Include lean meat in your holiday meal as the high protein content keeps your teeth strong and healthy and helps prevent tooth decay.
Tip 7: Be cautious with drinks
It’s not just the foods, but beverages can be problematic for your teeth as well. The fizzy, carbonated drinks tend to be high on sugar. The diet or sugar-free versions are highly acidic, leading to enamel erosion. One way to minimize the damage is to sip with a straw if you must drink a fizzy beverage.
Wines are highly acidic as well, and cause enamel erosion. Red wine can also stain the teeth. So combine the wine with tooth-friendly foods such as cheese or vegetables. Brush teeth at least half an hour after consuming the acidic drinks. Be sure to brush well if you indulge in red wine, and pair it with tooth-friendly foods like vegetables and cheese.
Never open bottles with your teeth as you risk damaging it.
Tip 8: Hydrate well
Water is your best bet for healthy teeth and gums. Practice drinking one glass of water every hour. It will help wash away all the harmful bacteria and keep your gut healthy as well.
Tip 9: Eat candy the right way
The hard candies can break your teeth if you aren’t careful. Instead of biting them, let them dissolve and melt away in your mouth. Wash away the harmful bacteria which feed on the sugar by drinking water and brushing your teeth later.
Tip 10: Carol and brush
Brush your teeth for two minutes at least to get the desired result. Your favorite Christmas carol can come in handy when you play it in the background and brush for one full song. Try it as it will make teeth brushing an enjoyable affair.
Tip 11: Focus on non-food-related activities
Try to shift the focus from food to meaningful events this Holiday season. You can try several non-food-related activities such as games, conversations, song and dance, crafts, movies, or virtual meets. It means well for your teeth as well when the emphasis is less on the food during the holidays.
Tip 12: Consult your dentist
Holiday dental care is essential, and you have to stay on track with your oral hygiene throughout the holidays. Good oral hygiene includes seeing your dentist regularly. It’s a wise idea to consult your dentist before the holiday season and schedule an appointment right after as well.
There are many reasons to be grateful and smile this Holiday season amid the pandemic. Follow our listed twelve dental tips in this article, and you’re all set for the season.
At Cambridge Dental Studio, we ensure that your smile is healthy and shining brightly for the holiday season. On a side note, at-home whitening strips work great. For our patients, we suggest that they whiten with us first to get to their brightest possible shade and then maintain with the whitening strips after.
Our Palo Alto dentists are always a call away to give you and your loved ones the best smile at an affordable price during this time of the year. The holiday season is usually one of the busiest times at Cambridge Dental Studio. So schedule your dental visit at the earliest.
For the holiday season, we will be open 8:00 AM through 5:00 PM on 12/22 and then closed for regular hours until 2021. If you have an emergency, please call or text us at (650) 382-3068. We will reopen on January 4th!
Call us at (650) 382-3068 or book your appointment online.
Happy Holidays and best wishes from the Cambridge Dental Studio Team!
Disclaimer: We routinely draw upon public health resources to inform our write-ups. Information in this article may be drawn up from multiple public health sources, including:
American Dental Association’s MouthHealthy.org
California Dental Association
American Dental Association’s Action for Dental Health
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention