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Brighten Your Holiday Smile With These Oral Health Tips
With the holidays right around the corner, you’re probably nestled all snug in your bed with visions of sugar plums, candy canes, sugar-sprinkled cookies, and other ooey-gooey delights dancing in your head. The holidays are about all those extra indulgences we wouldn’t dream of any other time of year. Those mouth-watering, chocolate-dipped, caramel-filled, sugar-coated delicacies that can, well, rot your teeth out.
Okay, well not to be overly dramatic, but you get the idea. The holidays can wreak havoc on your pearly whites, so it’s important to take some extra care. By committing to these healthy habits, you won’t just be protecting your teeth from holiday hazards, but you can work on adopting new lifestyle changes that will give your improved oral health for the new year.
Upgrade Your Toothbrush
The first holiday gift your should buy this year, is a new toothbrush. A toothbrush should be replaced about every three months, so if you’re using one older than that, it’s time to toss it. Make sure to select a toothbrush that has soft bristles. Hard bristles can lead to gum damage.
Fine Tune Your Brushing Skills
When you’re indulging in all those extra treats, you’re compounding the decay-causing bacteria that come from sugar, so it will be necessary to brush more often. More often won’t solve your problems, though, if you’re not brushing properly.
- Your toothbrush should be at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Move the brush back and forth, gently, in short strokes.
- Brush in this order: 1) the outer surfaces, 2) the inner surfaces, and 3) the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- Brush for a full two minutes.
Don’t Skip Flossing
The only way you can effectively remove food stuck between your teeth, that leads to plaque build up, is by flossing. If you can only manage one floss a day, make sure to do it as part of your bedtime routine so that you’re eliminating any food particles that would otherwise sit on your teeth all night.
Your Teeth Aren’t Nutcrackers (Or Pliers!)
If you’re using your teeth to crack open nuts or twist off bottle caps, don’t! This can do damage to your teeth, and your gums.
In The Event Of An Emergency, Use Water
If you’re attending a holiday party and you haven’t remembered to pack a toothbrush, drink water. Water can can rinse away sugar, acids from from wine or soda, and other unhealthy matter that causes tooth decay.
Prioritize Your Teeth In Addiction Recovery
If you’re in addiction recovery, and dealing with some dental damage that was caused by drug use, like meth, you can get back on the road to better oral health. Start with a visit to the dentist who can work to fill in any cavities that were caused during this time, and prescribe antibiotics for any gum disease that may be unresolved.
Protect Your Orthodontics
Bite into that tempting chocolate candy and encounter hard, chewy toffee, and you may end up damaging your orthodontics. If you have braces, make sure to forego things like lollipops, popcorn, taffy, caramel, hard or sticky candy, nuts, and chewing gum. Sound like everything you could possibly enjoy? Not true. Instead, select some soft melt in your mouth mints or chocolate candies or some yummy ice cream. As always, be sure to brush after any sweet.
Start 2018 With A Dental Visit
Pick up the phone now and schedule a dental visit so you can start your new year off with healthy, clean teeth. A trip to the dentist can detect oral cancer, prevent gum disease, repair damage from plaque build up, and correct any bad habits that are causing you damage.
There are plenty of other great reasons to brighten your smile with healthy teeth. Improper brushing and flossing can lead to wallet-busting repairs down the road. And don’t forget the pain that comes when you’re staring down a root canal or a crown because you’ve indulged in a few too many popcorn kernels. But perhaps most of all, a beautiful smile, makes for a more beautiful you.