The holidays are a time of fun and family, but they’re also an extremely dangerous time for teeth. From all the extra candy you’re likely to have in your house starting on the 31st to the last few sips of eggnog on New Year’s Eve, there are many reasons why the holiday season can often lead to emergency visits to the dentist in State College. In this post, you’ll learn about some of the dental pitfalls that you’ll have to watch out for during the holidays – not to mention a few tips that can make surviving the season with your smile intact much easier!
What Makes the Holidays So Damaging for Teeth?
Tooth decay tends to be more common around the holidays, and it’s not hard to see why. For one thing, there’s a higher chance that you’ll be snacking throughout the day – not just during the holiday gatherings themselves, but also in the days and weeks afterwards when you’re working your way through leftovers. Constantly snacking means that your saliva won’t have enough time to finish cleaning bacteria and other harmful particles off your teeth before the mouth exposed to more food.
Of course, there’s also the fact that the holidays are a time of sugary desserts and snacks. Once oral bacteria feed on sugar, they produce acids that will cause the teeth to slowly decay. You don’t have to give up sugar entirely, but if you’re consuming more of it than you usually do, you’ll be putting your teeth at risk.
Finally, if you travel a lot during the holidays, you may find yourself falling out of your normal routine. For example, you may stay up late longer than normal and end up skipping your oral hygiene routine out of tiredness. Or you might forget your toothbrush and not realize it until you’re already at your destination. Even one night of skipping your normal dental routine can have dire consequences for your mouth.
How Can You Protect Your Smile?
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to enjoy the holiday season without putting your pearly whites at risk.
- Drink plenty of water during the day so that food doesn’t stick on your enamel any longer than it needs to.
- Always make time to brush, rinse, and floss at least twice a day. Double check your luggage to make sure you have everything you need to practice good oral hygiene during your travels.
- Try not to eat too many unhealthy foods like caramel, sugary baked goods, candy canes, and other treats. Stick to more tooth-friendly options like cheese, nuts, and vegetables.
Your dentist probably has some further advice for protecting your oral health in State College. Scheduling a holiday checkup and cleaning today could save you trouble later. And of course, avoiding emergencies means you’ll have more time to spend with friends and family throughout the season!
About the Author
Dr. Donald Marks has had a love of helping others from a young age. He chose dentistry as a career in part because it would let him interact directly with patients and have a very real impact on their lives. He has mentored under some of the finest dentists in the world, and in turn he has taken a proactive role in mentoring younger dentists through the Penn State Pre-Dental Club. To schedule a holiday consultation with him at Donald Marks Family Dentistry, visit his website or call (814) 234-0329.