Just because you’re out enjoying the holiday festivities, it doesn’t mean you can take a holiday break from you and your family’s dental health. Since your schedule and diet are probably fluctuating from the celebrations, you’ll need to be even more careful about maintaining your smile. Below are five tips for a healthy mouth this holiday season:
Schedule those dental visits before the year ends.
Most people should be seeing the dentist at least twice a year for a dental exam and routine cleaning. Don’t put your appointments off until the end of the year. Chances are the dentist will be spending time with their families and their offices will be closed during the holidays. As for the days that are open, trust us – there will be long lines from all the other patients who procrastinated until December, too!
Give your dentist a call early on to schedule an appointment. These visits are imperative to your dental and overall health because they allow your dentist to diagnose, treat, and prevent dental issues from getting worse. It’s better to get your exam over before the holidays, so any underlying dental issues don’t ruin your time with family and friends. And don’t forget about flex benefits! Many flex pay health care plans require patients to spend any accumulated funds before year end or else they’re wasted!
Assemble a travel-size dental hygiene kit.
There’s no excuse not to keep up your oral hygiene routine when you’re traveling abroad or visiting family. There are tons of travel-sized products available and putting together a dental travel kit will help you keep up your dental habits even when you’re away from home. Here are the basics: toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash. Make sure to bring one for everyone in the family. There are lots of sanitary ways to transport your toothbrush when you’re on the go, too. If you have kids, they’ll love having their own dental kit, especially if you let them pick out their own special brush and toothpaste.
Protect your toothbrush.
If you’re going to be out of town for the holidays, you’ll want to make sure that your toothbrush stays clean during your travels. Bacteria from luggage and hotel bathrooms can easily find their way onto your brushes and into your mouth if you’re not careful storing your toothbrush. There are several options are available, including antibacterial covers and deep UV sanitizers. A closed cover is the perfect warm, damp environment for bacteria to thrive, so remember to let your toothbrush dry before packing it away.
Be mindful of your diet.
It’s not a crime to indulge in a few sugary drinks, snacks, or desserts during the holidays, but it can have a seriously negative impact on your teeth. Bacteria feed off sugars that are left on the teeth and turn them into enamel-eroding acids. You don’t have to cut off sweets altogether, but remember to consume them in moderation. There are also tons of healthy alternatives to look forward to when you’re on vacation instead. Rather than planning the days and family activities around food, look for fun activities, like days in the park, sledding, or decorating your home. Opt for healthy snacks, like nuts and berries, to keep yourself and your family from gravitating towards sugary options that could be detrimental to their dental health.
Keep up your routine.
No matter what happens, don’t forget your regular dental habits! It may be tempting to just go to bed after an exhausting day of family fun, but forgetting to brush and floss could mean not-so-fun dental problems later down the road. Make brushing and flossing a daily habit that your family does together. It can be a great opportunity to relax and talk about the activities of the day or plan for the next.
Kids Healthy Teeth is a pediatric dental office in Katy, TX. We consider our patients family and we love hearing about their holidays whenever we get to see them. Our team hopes everyone has a great season of love, joy, happiness and healthy smiles!