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Are the Holidays a Bad Time for Dental Health?

December 23, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — renee @ 3:36 am

Smiling woman enjoying holiday festivities You might have heard that the holidays are the worst time of the year for your dental health. It isn’t a rumor. The season can lead to bad news the next time you visit your dentist. You don’t have to miss out on the festivities to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Here are 5 reasons your dental health can decline and what you can do to keep your mouth healthy during the holidays. 

1. Snacking More Often

The holidays mean sweet treats and salty snacks galore. You are surrounded by many delicious snacks that can be impossible to resist. You may snack more during the holidays. Not only will this add inches to your waistline, but it also increases your risk of tooth decay. Your teeth will be exposed to cavity-causing bacteria more often.

It’s better to choose nutritious snacks, like fresh fruits and vegetables. You’ll keep your mouth and body healthy to start the new year looking and feeling your best.

2. More Sugars and Starches

Holiday favorites, like cranberry sauce, stuffing, and eggnog, can be a recipe for disaster. Sugars and starches feed bacteria that can erode your enamel over time. Once your enamel is gone, it won’t grow back. 

It’s important to moderate sugars and starches. Drink plenty of water along with your meal to help rinse your mouth. Don’t forget to brush your teeth after you finish.

3. Drinking Alcohol

Red wine and other alcoholic beverages can be included in seasonal get-togethers. Alcohol can affect your smile in many ways, like causing a dry mouth from dehydration. This can allow bacteria levels to get out of control quickly, which can lead to cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. If the beverage is dark, it can also stain your teeth. No amount of brushing improves tooth discoloration.

Water is always the best choice. It keeps your body hydrated and your mouth moist. Every sip also cleanses your mouth to reduce food residue and bacteria. 

4. Poor Oral Hygiene Habits

The holidays can be a busy time of the year, especially if you’re traveling. It’s not unusual for dental hygiene to slip. Even though it may only be for a few weeks, inadequate brushing and flossing can cause dental problems. 

You can protect against decay and infections by brushing your teeth at least twice daily, if not after every meal. Floss your teeth every day and use a daily mouthwash. 

5. Skipping Dental Checkups

Skipping your semi-annual dental checkup can affect your oral health. Routine appointments prevent common issues from occurring, like tooth decay. 

As you shop for gifts and plan for meals, make the time to visit your dentist for a cleaning and checkup. They’ll keep your mouth healthy and your smile looking its best.

About Dr. Renee Corbitt

Dr. Corbitt earned her dental degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio Dental School and has regularly continued her education in various specialties, including orofacial pain disorders, sleep medicine, and general dentistry. Request an appointment through her website or call (682) 200-8789.

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