You’ve probably come across several websites or even advice from friends and co-workers about tips for the holiday. That could be tips for making the perfect cranberry sauce, or tips for wrapping gifts a different way, or tips on getting the best deals online for gifts. Whatever advice you end up taking, make sure you take ours for some simple oral health tips.

Check them out below, then call Highland Advanced Dental Care for more tips on keeping a healthy, clean smile in Highland Township, MI.

1. Avoid Stains From Wine & Coffee.

If you’re like us, you probably get to enjoy these beverages more during this season. Whether you’re sitting around the fireplace talking with family over a hot cup of coffee or at a work party enjoying a glass of red wine, it can be a nice way to relax.

Regardless of how often you enjoy these, they come with some not-so-good side effects. That includes staining your teeth. Stains are more of a cosmetic concern, but you also have to watch out for sugars in coffee (added, of course) and in wine. You probably know that when sugars sit on your teeth too long, it leads to cavities. But because these drinks are often sipped long periods of time, those sugars and staining substances cling longer and have a bigger impact.

If you don’t eliminate or cut back on these, then it’s best to figure out a way to minimize the damage and still enjoy them. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Brush beforehand. You’ll get plaque off your teeth, so it will be harder for anything to stick to the smoother surfaces.
  • Brush after. You’ll get rid of the sugars and surface stains. Just remember to wait at least a half hour before brushing after you drink wine. The acids remove minerals from your teeth, which need time to remineralize.
  • Sip water throughout. Swish it around in your mouth afterward.
  • Drink coffee a little faster. You’ll minimize the time it’s on your teeth.
  • Ask us about treatments like teeth whitening or dental veneers. They’ll help keep your teeth white.

2. Don’t Bite Down On Hard Candy.

If you were asked about common causes of dental emergencies, you might think about a sports injury, or an infected tooth, maybe even a household accident like a fall. You probably wouldn’t think about candy, but hard candy can easily chip, crack, or even break teeth. Candy like toffee is especially bad for teeth. So when you reach for the candy bowl or a family member’s stocking, think twice. You could suck on the candy instead, but you’ll want to remember to brush so that you can get all those sitting sugars off your teeth.

3. Don’t Chew On Ice.

This is similar to hard candy. We’ve seen patients before who have suffered dental damage from chewing on ice. If you’ll be enjoying a beverage with ice over the holiday meal or any time, choose crushed ice instead, or simply make sure the drink is cold enough in the refrigerator ahead of time. This is a bad habit that you’ll do good to break – before your tooth ends up breaking instead!

4. Don’t Use Your Teeth As Nutcrackers.

You’ve probably seen more of those bags of mixed nuts with shells than other times of the year. They’re a popular snack and gift for the holiday. Just make sure you have a nutcracker handy if you or others will be eating them. Too many people use their teeth to break open the shells. If it takes a metal nutcracker to break these open, you know the shells must be hard!

If you don’t have a nutcracker, simply opt for shelled nuts. You can still enjoy this holiday snack without all the hard work!

5. Avoid Chewy Candy.

Sticky, chewy candy is another culprit for dental damage. It can’t break your teeth, but there’s almost nothing worse you can eat that will stay on your teeth, even after you brush. It gets stuck between the crevices and on your gums, and all that residual sugar leads to plaque.

If you indulge in caramels and more this season, be sure to drink water afterward. Rinse your mouth with it. And always brush your teeth when you’re done, or at least at night. Flossing will help get into the nooks and crannies.

Visit Us Soon For A Healthy Smile

Our goal with these oral health tips isn’t to turn simple holiday pleasures into nuisances. We just want to keep your smile healthy and intact for as long as possible! If you’d like to know more about how you can do that, visit Highland Advanced Dental Care. Call 248-329-3552 to set up an appointment with us to discuss your goals.

Enjoy your holidays, and we’ll see you soon!