4 Tips to Protect Your Holiday Smile

December 27, 2018 by Dr. Andrew Smyth  •  Original Post

You can enjoy seasonal sweets and still have a cavity-free smile to flash in festive photos. These tips will keep your teeth healthy during the holidays.

Avoid over doing it with candy. It's the most wonderful time of year for candy canes, popcorn balls, and cookies -- and this nonstop buffet of sweets can wreak havoc on your teeth, says Steven Chussid, DDS. He's an associate professor of dental medicine at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine.

Still, you don't have to skip holiday treats. "Eat a single dessert and brush your teeth afterward," Chussid says. "You'll expose your teeth to less sugar [with a single treat] than if you're constantly snacking, and that reduces the risk of tooth decay."

Snack smart. Use a nutcracker, not your teeth, to shell nuts. No nutcracker? Choose a different snack. "One poor decision can cause a lot of painful and expensive damage," Chussid says. "Is it worth it to break a tooth for a nut?"

Keep a routine

The holidays can upset your schedule, but you should still brush at least two times a day.

To keep up good habits on the go, stash a toothbrush and mini tube of toothpaste in your purse or briefcase and make time to "freshen up" after meals. If brushing your teeth isn't an option, chew sugarless gum, which boosts saliva, helps flush out food debris, and more.

Honor appointments 

Skipping a dental exam could get you on the naughty list. "It's much better to catch problems now and not put them off until the new year," Chussid says.

If your 6-month checkup falls during the holidays, consider it a celebration of good oral health -- and a holiday gift to yourself.

Crunch Time

If you crack a tooth on grandma's peanut brittle, you may not be able to see your dentist. "Most dental offices are closed during the holidays," says Kimberly Harms, DDS. She's a dental consultant in Farmington, MN. If you have a dental emergency, Harms offers these tips.

Be prepared. Pack dental floss, gauze, and over-the-counter pain relievers with your toiletries to deal with minor dental problems when you travel. 

Share This Article
About York Dental Clinic

York Dental Clinic is a Fredericton, NB based dental clinic.

We're a full time family-based Fredericton dentist office offering all aspects of dentistry. Our dental practice offers personal attention, commitment to excellence and a no-nonsense approach to oral health. Our number one priority is your comfort and satisfaction. Your individual needs are always considered and your choices always respected.