Keeping Up On Holiday Dental Care

By Mark Tall on December 19, 2016

With the new year comes a fresh start - it’s out with old and in with the new. It’s a time when personal goals and habits are formed to better oneself, and the bad habits of the year prior are thrown by the wayside. 

A common New Year's goal is to better one's health, and one of the main changes that will better your overall health is proper dental hygiene. A healthy body starts with a healthy mouth, as what you put into your body and how you keep up on oral care has a large impact on how healthy the rest of your body is.

If you have been paying close attention to oral health, great, keep it up. But if your oral health is less than perfect, be sure to prioritize oral health as a way to make the new year better than the last. 

What To Eat And Drink

With the holiday season upon us, now is a better time than ever to start making changes to how you treat your oral health. The importance of oral care cannot be overlooked as you travel, eat and drink this holiday season. However, that doesn’t mean you have to completely refrain from eating and drinking the things you love. The best strategy is to make slight modifications to your diet while limiting the consumption of harmful substances.

Below are some foods and drinks that are beneficial to your health and should be consumed this holiday season:

  • Cheese: We’ve been told since we were young that dairy products are packed with calcium that build strong bones and teeth. In addition to this fact, cheese also has the added bonus of balancing the pH level in your mouth, which works against harmful acids that build up into plaque. Eating cheese is recommended for oral health and should not be avoided when exploring the snack table.
  • Green, Leafy Vegetables: Leafy vegetables are packed with vitamins and calcium that help replenish damaged enamel. Enamel is important in oral health, because it is the first layer of protection for your teeth. 
  • Cranberries: Cranberries contain polyphenols that prevent plaque from forming on your teeth. While this fruit can be beneficial to oral health, be sure to watch out for sugar content, as some store bought cranberry sauces have loads of sugar. 
  • Water: Hydration is key, especially when you’re out at dinners and parties with alcohol involved. Drink water throughout the day, even when you are not thirsty to ensure you are hydrated when out with friends and family. Water also increases saliva production so your mouth can naturally wash away food particles and bacteria. 

Oral Maintenance

Always be sure to brush at least twice per day, especially during the holiday season. Brushing your teeth keeps plaque off of them and washes away harmful cavity-causing bacteria.

It’s also imperative to floss once per day, preferably at night. Since you will most likely be consuming more food than you normally do, it’s important to clean those spots your toothbrush can’t reach in order to minimize bacterial buildup.

It’s also a good idea to have a small bottle of mouthwash handy. It’s a quick and easy way to freshen up your mouth on-the-go and eliminate the awkwardness of bringing bad breath to the party. If you decide to use mouthwash, be sure it’s alcohol-free, as mouthwashes containing alcohol tend to dry out your mouth-creating a breeding ground for more bacteria.

The items listed below have a positive impact on oral hygiene and will help kick start 2017 with a healthier, new-improved you. 

Dental Office Stocking Stuffers

Stocking stuffers are a great way to give the gift of a healthy smile. With a wide range of dental products to choose from, you’ll be sure to have plenty of holiday gift ideas to add on to your list.

Flossing Products

Floss Picks

This quick and easy alternative to flossing will help even the most inconsistent flossers maintain a proper flossing regimen.  While this method still involves a string, they’re much more convenient to use because they hold the floss in a way that allows one to floss with only one hand.

WaterPik

A WaterPik is an effective way to floss without having to pull or a wrap string around your fingers. This device uses a water jet to clear debris from your teeth, as opposed to a string.

Mint-Flavored Dental Floss

While the aforementioned ideas are great alternatives for quick everyday flossing, it’s still important to floss the traditional way at least a couple times a week. The traditional flossing technique reaches more spots, as the floss curves into a “C” shape, making it easier to reach spots below the gumline where a WaterPik or floss pick can’t reach.

Brushing Products

Portable Toothbrush

A portable/disposable toothbrush comes in handy when on-the-go during the holiday season. With a wide range of food and drinks likely to be consumed, brushing after a meal is a good way to keep your breath fresh all day long. Be sure to get brushes with soft bristles, as most dental professionals agree softer bristles are best for removing plaque and debris from your teeth and gumline. 

Flavored Toothpaste

We are much more likely to brush with a toothpaste flavor we prefer. Colgate offers a watermelon flavored toothpaste that will ensure your child looks forward to brushing every day, and with a wide range of toothpaste flavors, adults can pick out their favorite as well.

Other Products

Mouthwash

Great for on-the-go, mouthwash is a fast way to freshen up your breath. As previously mentioned, alcohol-free mouthwash is recommended because alcohol tends to dry out the mouth, which promotes the growth of bacteria. 

Gum

Gum is also a quick and easy way to freshen up your breath on the go. Try teeth whitening gum as an added bonus for your teeth.

Teeth Whitening

Here at Sandcreek Dental we offer a variety of teeth whitening options that guarantee to keep you or a loved one smiling. From in office teeth whitening to customized whitening trays, a whitening package from Sandcreek Dental would be a great gift for anyone looking to brighten their smile. 

How We Can Help

Just like most goals, proper oral care takes small, simple steps in order to reach them. These holiday tips and suggestions can make a big difference in the long run, but it’s important to be consistent in order to see changes over time.

If you decide to get a whitening package or need more suggestions for holiday stocking stuffers, come by our office and talk to Dr. Mark Tall about all of your options. 

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