If the upcoming holiday season is making your mouth water when you consider all the wonderful foods you’re going to encounter during it, you’re not alone. From family dinners to restaurant specials, everyone is pulling out all the stops to produce rich, flavorful, memorable meals and treats to indulge in. With this cavalcade of deliciousness ahead, you may be wondering what steps you can take to protect your teeth through the weeks to come. Thankfully there are a few simple things you can do to make it through the year with your beautiful smile intact.
A List Of Things Not To Do
The majority of things that lead to dental problems during the holiday seasons aren’t about what you should do but about what you shouldn’t do. There are a few mistakes that people make in the exuberance of the season, and we’re going to point them out.
1. You Aren’t A Nutcracker
Nuts are a popular seasonal treat, appearing in gift baskets, stockings, and snack bowls at family gatherings. While nutcrackers are usually provided, one common injury that’s seen by dentist’s this time of year comes from people trying to crack nuts with their teeth. You aren’t a nutcracker, and you aren’t a squirrel. Both of these are specially designed for cracking the hard shell of the nuts; your teeth are not. Just shell the nuts the right way and enjoy the delicious interior.
2. Or A Bottle Opener, or Box Cutter
If it isn’t cracked and chipped teeth from trying to crack nuts with their teeth, it’s chipped and cracked teeth from trying to open bottles or packages with them. It only takes a few minutes to grab something sharp to open packages deeply wrapped in tape, and many things can be used for bottle openers if you’re missing the real thing. Your teeth are not an appropriate alternative in either of these cases.
3. Chewy Treats Come With Risks
While we could advise that you just avoid chewy treats altogether, that simply isn’t realistic or a great way to live your life. Instead, be realistic about your oral health and how you chew these treats. If you have teeth that are loose or existing dental work like fillings, be sure you don’t chew in those parts of your mouth. Even better, avoid chewing them entirely, and just let them melt in your mouth. When you do eat them, it’s essential that you brush afterward, as the sticky nature of the treat will cling to your teeth and gums longer.
4. So Does Hard Candy and Ice Cubes
While crunching down on ice cubes and hard candy can be satisfying, it can also be the doorway to an excruciating dental emergency. Let hard candy dissolve in your mouth, and reserve your ice for cold drinks, not for chewing.
Want more tips to help your teeth survive the holiday season? Contact Dr. Alina Huang at Glow Dental NYC in New York, NY. Our team works closely with our community to provide exceptional dental care and promote education on dental topics for patients.