Family gatherings, cookie decorating, work celebrations, friend get-togethers, school performances – calendars fill up quickly during the holiday season. When the days are jam-packed, it’s easy to skip an evening brushing session or munch on sweets instead of healthy snacks. The occasional slip-up won’t harm your oral health – just don’t make it a habit. Here are a few ways to stay in a good oral health groove during the holidays.
- Try to enjoy sweets with a meal. If you’re going to indulge in some sugary sweets, do it with a meal instead of as a stand-alone snack. Eating other foods stimulates saliva, which helps wash harmful sugars and acids away from teeth and gums.
- Stay away from between-meal snacks. If your mother ever scolded you for snacking between meals, well, she was onto something. It’s not just cakes and cookies that harm teeth – snacks like chips, crackers and pretzels all contain sugars and starches that can harm teeth. If you’re going to snack between meals, stick to veggies, nuts and cheeses.
- Drink more water, especially after enjoying sweets. Avoid cleansing your palate with sweet and sugary drinks. Water will wash away stray food particles in your mouth and keep you hydrated.
- Keep up good oral health habits. The holidays are usually a time of overindulgence, but don’t let that keep you from maintaining good oral health habits. Remember to brush twice a day for two minutes, and don’t forget to floss!
- Be prepared. Planning ahead will set you up for success. It’s a good idea to keep a toothbrush, travel-size toothpaste and floss handy when visiting friends and family.
With a few extra precautions, your smile will stay sparkling well into the new year!