When you think of the holidays, what are the first things that come to mind? Is it the delicious food that you know your family members will be making? Is it the chilly air or the decorations you see set up around your house (and your neighborhood?) Chances are, you’re probably not thinking about how your oral health can suffer during this time of year. If you want to avoid cavities and dental emergencies by next December, here’s what you should always keep in mind, according to a dentist.
Avoid Using Your Teeth to Crack Nuts
Nutcrackers are a thing for a reason, so don’t bother using your teeth to get your favorite nuts opened. Enjoying them shouldn’t mean you need to crack them with your own teeth. Whether it’s a pistachio, peanuts or walnuts, your teeth are the last tool you should be using. It’s one of the best ways to avoid a cracked or chipped tooth.
Tell Your Family You’re Skipping Chewy Treats This Year
Sticky foods, including caramel or taffy, can stick to teeth for long periods of time. This creates an environment extremely inducive to plaque and tartar development, which can encourage tooth decay and even yank out fillings or crowns. Always make sure to either skip these treats entirely or eat them very sparingly.
Always Use the Right Tool for the Job
Do not under any circumstances use your teeth to open packages, no matter how excited you might be. Not only is it more effective to use a pair of scissors or box cutter to open packages, but it doesn’t erode your enamel in the process. The same is true for opening beer bottles, as using your teeth can chip or crack your tooth, forcing you to get a crown or even a root canal to resolve it.
Don’t Chew on Ice Cubes or Hard Candy
It may be relaxing and refreshing to chew on ice cubes, and candy canes being highly prevalent make it difficult to not indulge, but both can cause your teeth to chip or crack. Instead, avoid these habits entirely or at the very least let that ice cube or hard candy dissolve naturally. Hard candy contributes directly to tooth decay, so it’s better to avoid it altogether.
Make a Resolution to Stop Nail Biting
While it’s no secret that the holidays can be a stressful time of the year, don’t let your teeth suffer because of it. Nail biting is not only harmful for your fingernails, but also your tooth enamel in general. To avoid chipping or cracking your teeth, keep your hands preoccupied with other tasks so you don’t feel the urge to bite your nails.
Keeping your mouth healthy doesn’t have to be a difficult proposition when you keep these tips in mind. You’re doing your oral health a big favor, so don’t let the holidays ruin it before it’s even the new year!
About Cambria Smiles
The dentists at Cambria Smiles do everything they can to ensure that your oral health is in good condition, whether it’s during a routine checkup or when placing a new restoration. If you’re traveling for the holidays and don’t want to deal with a dental emergency, you can stay proactive and schedule an appointment through their website. They are open five days a week!