Between the gifts, holiday parties, family reunions, and scrumptious eating options, the holidays are an exciting time. Surrounded by so many tasty holiday options, it’s easy to throw caution to the wind and eat what we please. Thus, we often gain weight during the holidays. In fact, studies suggest that the average American picks up at least a pound each season that they find difficult to shed in the coming year.
Holiday binging isn’t great for the figure, but it can also affect the teeth. Maintaining good dental health during the holidays is a big challenge. We may eat foods that are hard on our teeth and also fall into bed exhausted from the holiday rat race, too tired to properly brush or floss.
Here are a few tips to keep your pearly whites in tip-top shape over the holidays:
• Watch out for hard candy – Hard candies, such as candy canes, are plentiful during the holiday season, but biting on them can result in a cracked or chipped tooth. Let them dissolve in your mouth rather than biting down on them, and remember to brush thoroughly after eating candy.
• Stay way from soda – Soda and other sugary drinks are ubiquitous during the holidays. Soda water is a better alternative to soda, as it has no sugar, and certainly plain water is best of all. If you are drinking soda, consider using a straw to mitigate the effects of the soda’s acid.
• White over red wine – If offered a glass of wine during a party, opt for white over red. Red wine can stain your teeth. If you really want red wine, take it with food to lessen the staining. Be sure to brush your teeth after drinking red wine.
• More turkey – If you have a choice of meats at a holiday party, choose turkey. Turkey is rich and protein and phosphorus, which help in fighting tooth decay and keeping your teeth healthy and strong.
• Go for the veggies – Skip the brownies and cookies and fill your plate with carrots, broccoli, and other veggies. The vitamin A in vegetables strengthens the enamel of your teeth.
• Be “cheesy” – Nosh on cheese when drinking wine or other alcoholic drinks. Cheese has pH balancing effects that can neutralize the acid in alcoholic drinks.
You can enjoy holiday parties without hurting your smile. Use care in eating, and remember not to let your healthy dental habits slip in the frenzy of the season.