It’s hard to believe it, but Christmas and New Year’s are right around the corner! Chances are you’re down to the last-minute errands and running around gathering up the remaining gifts for your loved ones. As you scan the grocery store aisles for the rest of your holiday fixings, the Marineland Dental Care team encourages you to remember a few healthy teeth tips that will keep your smile happy and healthy.
Feel free to give us a call at 509-591-0515 if you have any questions about them, or any other dental questions.
Don’t use your teeth as nutcrackers.
This might seem obvious to you, but you’d be surprised how many patients Dr. Hadley and our team have treated for this and other similar issues. It’s easy to get so caught up in conversation or a movie when you’re surrounded by family that you don’t go seeking an actual nutcracker. Even with pistachios, many people use their teeth rather than their hands to get the shell off and end up hurting a tooth or their tissues inside their mouth.
It’s a bad habit that needs to be broken so your tooth doesn’t end up broken! Though we do provide emergency dental care, we prefer you and your family to prevent one over the holiday! Even if you have an accident, be sure to call us right away. We won’t judge you or make you feel embarrassed. We simply want to do what it takes to get your smile back to healthy. That goes for any dental accident, not just one over this season.
We recommend skipping the shelled nuts and buying them without shells if this is a habit of yours.
Watch out for hard candy.
You’ve probably been warned or at least have heard not to crunch down on hard candy. It seems like there’s always hard candy around during the holiday, be it peppermints or toffee. If you’re going to indulge, take your teeth into consideration. All it takes is one hard bite and your tooth could crack.
Again, we have ways to resolve this, whether through tooth bonding for a small crack or a dental crown for a larger one. Save the time, pain, and expense by avoiding these altogether or at least sucking on the candy rather than chewing on it. (Don’t forget to brush later to get the residual sugars off your teeth!)
The same goes for popcorn over your annual family Christmas movie. Kernels can sneak their way into that handful of popcorn – they’re one of the worst food culprits for broken teeth. So is ice.
If you give candy to your kids or grandkids, keep this in mind when you’re making your choices or watching them eat.
Watch out for sticky candy.
Hard candy can break teeth, but sticky candy (think taffees, caramels, and other similar chewy candies) can decay teeth. Because it gets stuck between your teeth and stays there for a long time, it’s one of the top ways to build up plaque and tartar. Brushing and flossing can help, as can drinking water afterward, but we recommend staying away from it altogether.
Be sure to drink plenty of water after indulging in coffee or wine.
No, this isn’t necessarily for hydration. These are two of the worst staining beverages for your teeth. Family and friends tend to drink both of these more during holiday gatherings. We’re not recommending you give up anything, but it will help to drink water afterward to get the stain-inducing components off your teeth. You can also swish a little water around in your mouth too. And as always, be sure to brush at least twice a day, as it’s easy to have a long day with loved ones and just crash at night without taking care of your pearly whites.
Keep The Holidays & Your Smile Merry & Bright
We certainly don’t want to put a damper on your holiday. But we do want to help you keep your teeth beautiful and intact for life! A few simple steps can help make that happen. One we didn’t mention was keeping your annual checkups. They can remove stains, get rid of the plaque and tartar buildup, and polish your teeth so bacteria can’t stick as well. If we do find any signs of decay or damage, you can count on us to fix it.