An image of holiday treats.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! While our holiday season is going to look a lot different than it has in past years, it’s still so important to keep your teeth and gums healthy. From the holiday gift wrapping, our favorite seasonal foods, and family get-togethers, there is still a lot going on this year. No matter what your holiday season looks like, you’re probably still just as busy and it can easily neglect your dental health. Instead of pushing your oral health to the new year, take these easy steps to help preserve the integrity and health of your teeth! Keep reading to learn more and remember to contact Smiles by Dr. Santos for all of your dental needs! 

Never Open Anything with Your Teeth

No matter what, receiving or giving a gift is one of the most exciting feelings in the world. Whether these gifts are from family, friends, or other loved ones, it’s important that you remember to use proper tools to open these gifts, not your teeth. We know that it can be annoying to have to run back into the kitchen to find your industrial-strength scissors but we promise it’s going to be easier to use those than your teeth. Before you start unwrapping gifts, especially if you’re with a group of people, try and make sure that you have a pair of scissors (or whatever you may need) on deck and ready to go. Parents can be especially notorious for trying to help their children open that pesky plastic packing by using their teeth. Lead by example by never opening anything with your teeth. Not only is it dangerous for your teeth but it’s also not sanitary, you don’t know what is on that packaging so you shouldn’t use your mouth to open it. 


This also applies to opening bottles! Whether you’re popping open a bottle of sparkling apple cider or cracking open a cold beer, use a bottle opener. It may be a fun party trick, but that trip to the dentist when you’ve cracked a tooth won’t have anyone impressed. 


Opening packages and bottles with your teeth can lead to cracked, chipped, and missing teeth. Plastic packaging can even cut your gums and lead to infection if not treated properly. So, just save yourself the trouble and use a pair of scissors. You’ll thank us later, we promise. 


Be Aware of Chewy and Sugary Treats

Like we mentioned, the food during the holiday season is some of the best. But, be aware of the treats that you are consuming. Many times these treats are filled with sugar, which is what gives them that perfect gooey texture and great taste. Sticky and sugary substances tend to cling on to your tooth enamel, which then encourages tooth decay. They can even yank out fillings, crowns, and other protective surfaces on your teeth. This can lead to painful toothaches and other damage. Now we’re not telling you that you have to skip out on all the fun, but just be mindful of what you’re eating. Drink plenty of water to help dilute your mouth and if you can, brush your teeth after you eat so all that sugar isn’t just sitting on top of your teeth. 


Drink Your Water

Like we just mentioned, water is great for keeping your mouth and body healthy. Water is incredible no matter what season it is, but make sure that you’re keeping your body fully hydrated these next few months. Drinking water helps keep your mouth clean and healthy, especially when you’re eating food that may be sugar and carbohydrate-heavy. These types of foods tend to stick to your teeth and other places in your mouth and if they sit for too long, they can lead to unhealthy aspects like tooth decay and cavities. When you’re eating, make sure that you’re gulping down some water to help wash away the excess sugar. Drinking water also boosts the production of saliva, which is great for oral health and preventing dry mouth. Water is your best friend, so make sure that you’re getting enough of it. The recommended amount is about eight glasses per day, so bring that reusable water bottle with you and get to chugging. 


Reach For Some Veggies

In the midst of all the holiday food, you can usually find a veggie tray of some sorts. Instead of loading up your plate with sweets, reach for a healthier option now and then. Eating vegetables, especially ones with a crunch to them (like carrots, celery, and other raw vegetables), is a great way to not only consume some healthy food but it actually helps get rid of excess sugar on your teeth. The constant motion of chewing and biting into a crunchy veggie (no matter how much ranch you’ve dipped it in) actually helps scrape food particles off of your teeth. It also helps increase saliva production in your mouth which helps too, not to mention all the vitamins are great for your health too. Next holiday party you’re at, make sure that you hit up the veggie tray! We know that it’s not the most exciting thing but your body and mouth will be happy!


Don’t Neglect Your Dental Care

Through all the activities even with a global pandemic, it seems like there’s never enough time in the day. But, that’s no reason to neglect your dental routine! Remember, you should be brushing and flossing at least twice a day and attending routine dental check ups about every six months. Once again, the dentist may not be at the top of your list for places you want to go but it’s so important to take care of your teeth. So don’t skip out on that scheduled visit!


Gift Someone The Gift of Dental Care

Depending on the person, giving the gift of dental care can be both a practical and useful gift this holiday season. Whether it’s pitching in on a cosmetic dental service or a new electric toothbrush, dental care makes a great holiday gift. While insurance and payments can be tricky, talk to the person before hand and see what would work best. You could even call your dental provider and see what steps need to be taken then. This is more of an adult gift but it’s still a great one! 


From routine cleanings and checkups to cosmetic dental surgery, our expert dentists are here for you. Take care of your teeth this holiday season, regardless of what your season looks like! Connect with us today to schedule an appointment and from all of us, Happy Holidays!