The holidays are here and that means lots of dinners, parties and special events in Hendricks County featuring food and drinks. From homemade cookies and candy to eggnog and hot chocolate, everyone has their favorites. However, most people don’t think about the affect of the holidays and oral health.
Sugary treats and beverages can cause tooth decay, which harms your teeth. But, by maintaining good oral hygiene during the holidays, you may be able to counteract some or all of this damage. Therefore, here are some tips you can follow to help you maintain a bright and healthy smile this holiday season:

  • Rinse with water. If you’ve been drinking wine, fruit juices or other acidic beverages, rinse your mouth with water, especially before you brush. The water will help wash away the acids and reduce tooth enamel erosion.
  • Brush your teeth often. Take a toothbrush and fluoride-containing toothpaste with you to all of your holiday festivities in Hendricks County and beyond. Once you’ve finished eating, brush your teeth. Holiday foods often contain acids which damage tooth enamel. And they’re packed with sugar which feeds the bacteria responsible for tooth decay.
  • Floss more. Carry floss with you as well. After brushing, floss to remove food particles and plaque that your toothbrush can’t reach. Besides lessening the likelihood of cavities, your breath will be fresher, too.
  • Avoid sticky foods. Dried fruits (like raisins and dates in fruit cake), caramels and taffy can stick to your teeth, causing acids to stay on them for longer time periods. If you can’t limit your consumption of sticky foods, then rinse, brush and floss as soon as possible after eating these foods.
  • Practice moderation. While it can be difficult to avoid eating sugary foods during the holidays, try to make healthier food choices whenever possible.
  • Chew sugar-free gum. Chewing gum produces saliva which washes away food particles and balances the acid in your mouth. Plus, gum can freshen your breath for those moments under the mistletoe.
  • Reduce holiday stress. When you’re stressed, you may grind or clench your teeth, which can wear them down. If you notice you’re grinding your teeth more, contact Dr. Jon Erickson at Danville Family Dentistry in Hendricks County. He can fit you for a mouth guard which you wear while you sleep to eliminate teeth grinding.
  • Keep your dental appointments. Don’t put off your check-up until after the holidays. You may only make your dental problems worse, and having a toothache during the holidays isn’t merry.

The holidays and oral health are both important. So don’t give up on proper oral hygiene just because it’s the holiday season. Give yourself the gift of a bright and healthy smile for the new year.
If you haven’t scheduled a recent dental appointment, contact Danville Family Dentistry at 317-745-4400 today. We’ll help you and your family members maintain healthy smiles year-round.