Its great that we are ready to celebrate a new year and a new beginning. To make sure that your New Year has a healthy start and carry through, here are some tips for the holidays to keep your smile in tip top shape, your teeth healthy and your breath as fresh as a mint.
1) We love to give and receive presents, but make sure that the sticky tape, the bows, and wraps are removed with a scissor or letter opener, not with your teeth. Teeth are fragile when used in the wrong way, and you should save your smile for a thank you, not for shredding paper.
2) Hydration keeps your body in the best shape possible, by flushing out waste products and allowing all the complex biological processes to proceed that keep your metabolism humming. Your mouth needs hydration too, to flush away sugars from eating, to rinse off food particles and to allow the formation of saliva. Saliva is an amazing tool to kill bacteria and to help you digest all the great holiday foods that you are looking forward to chomping on. Keep drinking that fresh water every day.
3) Make sure to check in with your dentist for a check up and a cleaning. The best method to retain fresh breath with a professional dental cleaning. That is where the odor causing build ups are removed and you start the clock again from the start on your dental health. Your mouth will feel fresh and tingly after a good cleaning and your breath with be as sweet as mountain air.
4) Remove bacteria with a natural ingredient of chewing gum. Cinnamon gum contains “cinnamon aldehyde”, an essential oil that gives the gum flavor, and at the same time destroys gum disease causing and cavity-forming bacteria. An all-natural way to keep your mouth fresh in between brushing or when you are out and about for the holidays. Cinnamon even keeps your breath fresh longer, helpful for after the garlic dip munches!
5) Dark beverages will stain your teeth, and some even contain large amounts of sugar ( a definite no-no.) Keep your drink preferences to light colored or clear beverages which probably contain fewer or no sugars and will not leave a dark residue on your teeth. If you have taken the effort to make your teeth have white and bright don’t stain them pink or brown with dark caramel or cherry food coloring in your drink.
6) Some great party foods for your teeth includes cheese. Cheese balances out the acidity in your mouth reducing the tendency to create cavities, it also has high levels of phosphate and calcium to restore the strength in your teeth and bones. Nibble away like a mouse on the cheese hors d’oeuvres and flash your best royal smile.
7) Prepare for after the party with a small dental kit that includes a travel brush and a small floss packet, or even just Doctors Brush Picks. Jokes are much better listened to or told by you when there are no flecks of broccoli between your bicuspids.
8) By all means, don’t forget to stick to your normal brushing routine. Don’t let the hangover keep you from brushing in the morning. Brushing and flossing will make you feel magically better than the “hair of the dog” solution.
Avoid Sugary Foods
9) Be a friend to your teeth and gums by avoiding these enemies of dental health. Really hard or crunchy sugary foods cause twin troubles. Bite too hard on an ice cube and you can crack a tooth. A sweet candy cane will grow decay causing germs like wildfire. Your mouth will remember that party a long time later at the dentist when you have that cavity filled or the broken tooth repaired. Avoid sugary soft chewable like gummies and mint chews. Forsaking these traditional holiday favorites can be difficult, but your pocketbook will thank you and your stockpile of Tylenol will not shrink rapidly.
10) During the holidays, there are more quantities of foods that contain high amounts of acid which are very attractive to our taste buds but are silent attackers of the thin coating of hard enamel that protects our teeth from breakage and cavities. Avoid the fizzy colas, wines, and citrus fruits that have a high acid content, or take a sip of water and swish it around your mouth to dilute the acid and swallow the water.
Have fun and enjoy a little of the things that don’t come around that often, but also help yourself to the mouth healthy foods, like crunchy fruits and vegetables like carrots. Drink water to stay hydrated and get a head start on your new years resolution to make a healthier you.