The holiday season is a time of celebrations, gathering, and best of all – an abundance of flavorful dishes. It’s during this time that people have an increased tendency to forgo proper dental hygiene practices – causing damage to the teeth and gums as a result. It’s normal to indulge in holiday treats and take well-deserved rests, but it does not have to come at the cost of your oral health. To help guide you on how to follow the best dental practices, let’s explore the importance of practicing proper dental hygiene after every festive season.
Consuming high amounts of sugars can cause cavities.
The best way to prevent tooth decay is simple – by practicing a regular brushing and flossing routine at home. The excessive amounts of sugar during the festive season poses a greater risk for tooth decay and other periodontal issues. To avoid these problems, it’s crucial to maintain a regular brushing and flossing schedule while keeping in mind the proper techniques while doing them. Dentists recommend brushing gently twice a day for two minutes to effectively remove plaque and tartar buildup in your teeth. Make sure to go through the innermost areas thoroughly and do not neglect the tongue as well. As for flossing, it is suggested to do it for two minutes every time after you brush your teeth.
Hard, sticky, and acidic food can cause damage to your teeth.
It’s important to be mindful of the food you consume during the holidays. Biting on hard food such as candy and nuts can cause permanent breakage on your teeth while sticky food can get trapped in between your teeth. If you find yourself eating these foods frequently, it’s best to rinse with water or mouthwash right after consumption. Furthermore, drinking soda or fruit juice can cause your teeth enamel to weaken. The sugar content reacts with the bacteria in the mouth, resulting in acid that can wear your teeth and cause tooth decay.
Excessive amounts of alcohol can result in tooth and gum damage.
Similar to carbonated drinks, alcohol contains high amounts of sugar and acids that could cause extensive damage to the teeth and irritation to the gums. It also dehydrates the mouth, allowing acid, plaque, and food debris to stay in the mouth. To avoid these oral health issues, it’s recommended to consume these beverages in moderation.
Cigarette or tobacco consumption weakens the teeth and the gums.
Sales trends indicate that there is an increase in the consumption of nicotine products during the holiday season as they are highly-regarded as presents for gift-giving activities. Additionally, as the cold weather creeps in, it’s highly likely for smokers to consume more cigarette and tobacco products to keep warm. Long-term effects of smoking include stained teeth, gingivitis, periodontal diseases, and in more severe cases – tooth loss and mouth cancer. Risks for infections in the gums increase as smoking cuts off the oxygen in the bloodstream necessary in the healing process. Health practitioners recommend quitting smoking altogether, but if you find this challenging, make sure to do it in moderate amounts until you break the habit completely.
It’s normal to get lost in all the holiday festivities, but you must always remember not to neglect your oral hygiene. If you find yourself in need of a comprehensive examination, it’s best to pay a visit to your dentist.