What are Some Tips for Maintaining Oral Health While Celebrating the Holidays?
4 Tips to Maintain Your Oral Health Over the Holidays
The holiday season is synonymous with indulgence – delectable meals, sweet treats, and festive drinks. It’s a time of year when our daily routines, including our oral hygiene, can take a backseat. Here are my insights on maintaining optimal oral health without sacrificing the festive cheer:
1) Avoid hard and sour candies
Avoid the temptation of constant snacking on sugary treats, as it raises your cavity risk; opt for low-sugar options like fruits, nuts, veggies or crackers when seeking an energy boost. It might be best to steer clear of hard, sticky candies and sour ones too; they not only linger in your mouth, magnifying the chances of cavities, but the high acid content in sour candies can damage your tooth enamel, making it more vulnerable to decay.
2) Instead opt for chocolate
Surprisingly, chocolate champions as the better choice for a healthier sweet treat during holidays compared to sticky, acidic candies. Its low tendency to linger in your mouth post-brushing and comparatively lower sugar content make it a more tooth-friendly choice. The gamut of options in chocolate – dark, white, or nut-infused, ensure you’re spoiled for variety. Plus, there’s a silver lining – dark chocolate, in moderation, can have health benefits.
3) Time it (Post Meal)
Ideally, you want to time the indulgence. Treat consumption post lunch or dinner is ideal for your little ones. The saliva that’s already there from the meal before works in their favor, mitigating acid build-up. This beats snacking on sweets throughout the day, which can lead to prolonged plaque build-up, resulting in a higher chance of cavities.
4) Brush like you mean it
In line with brushing twice daily for two minutes and the nightly floss ritual, the consumed sugar demands additional care. Really focus on brushing each tooth thoroughly – in small circles on the front, back, and top. Don’t do your regular 1-2 minute quick brush, but really try to make it a 3-4 minute routine of flossing and brushing.
Practice Mindful Eating, Drink Plenty of Water, and Maintain Oral Hygiene
One tip for maintaining oral health during the holiday season is to practice mindful eating. You can enjoy the holiday treats, but you have to do so in moderation. When it comes to desserts and sugary snacks, be mindful. Avoid continuous snacking when you’re with family and friends. Limit your sugar intake throughout the day. Drink plenty of water to wash away food particles from your mouth. Maintain your oral hygiene routine even if you’re tired after a day of celebrations.
Brush Your Teeth, Use Fluoridated Toothpaste, and Don’t Rinse With Water Too Soon
People should ensure that they carry a fully charged electric toothbrush and brush their teeth, with a fluoridated toothpaste, for two minutes, twice daily, using the built-in timer in the toothbrush. In the event that you forget your toothbrush or the battery is flat, buy the smallest, medium-bristled, manual toothbrush and brush your teeth using the stopwatch function on your phone or whilst watching a YouTube video that is longer than 2 minutes. In either case, do not rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash for 30 minutes after toothbrushing to give the fluoride time to work. If time and circumstances permit, ensure you floss as well.
Use a Straw When Drinking Sugary or Acidic Beverages
Be cautious with holiday beverages. Many festive drinks are high in sugar and acidic ingredients. If you’re enjoying these beverages, consider using a straw to minimize contact with your teeth. Afterward, rinse your mouth with water to help reduce acidity. Staying hydrated with water is vital as well, as it aids in maintaining a healthy oral environment.
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