How To Protect Your Teeth This Holiday Season
- December 15, 2017
‘Tis the season to be jolly — unless a dental disaster derails your holiday plans!
From candy canes and tightly wrapped presents to family get-togethers (where there is inevitably some rough-housing among cousins), there are plenty of dental dangers lurking during the most wonderful time of the year.
But when you partner with Gentle Dental Care — and take a little extra care on your end as well — you can avoid some of these pitfalls and focus on what really matters: making memories this holiday season.
Read on for three ways to keep your teeth healthy and avoid dental emergencies as you celebrate.
1. Resist The Urge To Open Presents And Bottles With Your Teeth.
When the only thing standing between you and a present is a tightly knotted ribbon, it’s tempting to use your teeth to unwrap the package. The same thing is true if you’ve forgotten a bottle opener and the celebration is already underway. But using your teeth in ways they aren’t meant to be used is a dental emergency just waiting to happen!
Depending on the severity of the damage, broken or cracked teeth can put the nerves inside your tooth at risk of infection. Damage to the nerve of the tooth may require root canal therapy.
If you have broken, chipped, or otherwise damaged your tooth, carefully rinse the pieces of the broken tooth in warm water. Take care not to touch the root of the tooth if it’s exposed. Place it in a small container of milk or your saliva, and call Gentle Dental Care.
Dr. Peltzer and his caring team of dental professionals understand that dental emergencies happen at inconvenient times.
If you have an emergency outside of normal business hours, call our office at (860) 479-2397 and leave a message. You can also page Dr. Peltzer. We’ll walk you through what to do until we can see you in the office.
One quick note about dental emergencies: If you experience bleeding that won’t seem to stop, seek immediate medical attention before giving us a call. Then, we can help you repair the damage!
2. Choose Smile-Friendly Stocking Stuffers.
Hard candies and caramels can be tasty, but they can also spell disaster for little teeth. When deciding what goodies to fill stockings with, here are some things to avoid:
- Sticky, chewy or gummy candies. Sugary particles get lodged into the crevices and grooves of teeth and can be hard to remove. This can lead to bacterial buildup, tooth decay, and cavities.
- Sour candies. The acidic nature of sour candies can weaken enamel, the strong outer layer of teeth.
- Hard candies. Adults and children alike can accidentally bite down on hard candy in such a way that breaks or damages their teeth.
So, what are some better options?
Chocolate is always a great option. Not only is it easier than other treats to remove from teeth, but it can have health benefits as well! Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, and studies suggest that it can help lower your blood pressure.
You could also opt for sugarless chewing gum, particularly brands and flavors that have earned the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. Chewing sugarless gum can actually help your teeth by preventing tooth decay.
3. Stick To Your Dental Hygiene Routine.
Between the holiday parties and last-minute shopping, it’s easy to allow your regular brushing and flossing routines to fall by the wayside during the holiday season. But it’s important to keep up with proper hygiene practices, particularly if you’ll be consuming more sweets this time of year.
Think of your dental hygiene practices as a way to decompress before bedtime. Listen to some music while you brush and floss. You can even encourage your kids to do the same!
Remember, the American Dental Association recommends brushing for two minutes a day, two minutes each time, using a soft-bristle toothbrush. You should also floss once a day.
Routine dental checkups and exams are also a great way to maintain great oral health. When the holiday excitement has subsided, resolve to prioritize your dental health in 2018!
The compassionate team at Gentle Dental Care can help you prevent tooth decay and gum disease with professional cleanings, sealants, fluoride treatments, and nutritional counseling. We make it easy to get all the care you need under one roof.
And of course, happy holidays from Gentle Dental Care!