Tips For Looking After Your Teeth During The Holidays
It doesn’t matter how much you like your dentist, spending time with them during the holidays isn’t something you really want to be doing. Here are our six top tips to help prevent any emergency trips to the dentist these holidays.
- Don’t crack nuts with your teeth. The hard surface of most nutshells can cause serious tooth and gum damage, and they may even crack your teeth. Your best bet is to shell the nuts first by hand before eating them. While the protein found in nuts helps keep bones and muscles strong, don’t test the strength of your teeth on them.
- Avoid sticky and chewy treats. Holiday sweets are often loaded with ingredients that can harm your teeth. All those sticky substances can cling to tooth enamel and encourage tooth decay. Chewy and thick sweets can even pull out your fillings. Eat any holiday sweets sparingly and eat them in tandem with other food to help stop them sticking to your teeth.
- Don’t use your teeth to open packets and bottles. We know it can be exciting trying to open gifts – even more so those ones that have been well wrapped, but don’t use your teeth, grab a pair of scissors instead, the same goes for opening packets – chips, sweets etc. When it comes to opening bottles, some see opening them with your teeth as a neat *party trick* – don’t. Trying to open bottles with your teeth can crack them and the damage may be as severe as needing root canal – always use the right bottle opener.
- Avoid chewing on ice cubes and hard sweets. Crunching ice and hard candy can lead to chipped or cracked teeth. Whether you are enjoying some sweet lollies or a cocktail with ice, resist the urge to chew. If you have sensitive teeth skip the ice cubes altogether as they can cause pain and discomfort for those with sensitive teeth and remember that even hard sweets will and still can cause tooth decay.
- Stop biting your nails. For some, the holiday season can be quite stressful, but biting your nails isn’t going to bring relief. Anxious nail biting is bad for both your nails, and your teeth. The habit is linked to teeth grinding, clenching, facial pain, sensitive teeth and jaw problems. If you do get an urge to bite your nails, distract yourself for a minute or two and see if the urge goes away. If that doesn’t work, you can always consider buying a bitter-tasting polish that has been designed to stop you from putting your nails anywhere near your mouth.
- Keep up with your daily dental routine, while the holidays can upset your routines, always keep up with flossing once a day and brushing twice a day. If brushing isn’t an option chew some sugarless gum, it will boost saliva to help flush out food debris.
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