As we recover from Thanksgiving and look ahead to the remainder of the holiday season it's important not to overlook your oral health as well as your general health. Here are five tips to help keep your teeth healthy during the holidays and into the New Year!
Oh nuts . . . If you love to snack on nuts, the first tip to chew on warns you to avoid cracking nut shells with your teeth when possible. Considered a healthy snack by most standards, nuts contain protein that is good for your teeth and bones. What isn't good for your teeth however is cracking nut shells when a good old fashioned nut cracker isn't available. Nut shells can crack your teeth and cause serious tooth and gum damage.
This time of year presents the opportunity to snack on chewy, sticky, sugary treats. Will power isn't just good for the waist line, resisting this type of holiday fare will help keep your teeth and gums healthier and happier. Candies, cookies and treats that are sticky literally cling to the enamel on your teeth which encourages tooth decay. Super sticky treats like caramel and taffy have even been known to dislodge fillings!
Have you ever used your teeth to open a package, bottle or gift? How about removing the price tag from a new shirt or scarf or gently tear a hole in a bag of chips? Our third tip reminds you to use proper equipment to dive into your packages this year and leave your teeth to what they do best, smiling and chewing food! Do yourself a favor and keep scissors, a letter opener and a bottle opener handy during the holidays; your teeth will thank you!
As you visit with relatives or chat with co workers at an office party try to remember to avoid crunching on hard candy or chewing ice. Sometimes a nervous habit, ice chewing in general is not a good idea. Over the holidays, when stress levels increase, ice chewing is at an all time high. Chewing on hard object can lead to cracked teeth and puts unnecessary stress on your pearly whites.
Finally, another stress induced bad habit that seems to increase over the holidays is nail biting. If the hustle and bustle of holiday stress is getting to you, avoid biting your nails, it isn't good for your teeth, nails or health. Nail biting has been linked to other harmful habits like teeth grinding and clenching and can cause tooth sensitivity. Bacteria and germs from under your fingernails can lead to a myriad of health problems. We hope these helpful tips help you avoid any unforeseen dental dilemmas this holiday season. Enjoy this special time of year with the people you love the most!
Posted on the behalf of Dr. Leia Porcaro, Grateful Dental