Christmas is a time for enjoying the company of friends and family, playing games, having fun, and eating good food. Unfortunately, many festive traditions come with a risk of tooth damage, which can really put a dampener on things. Nobody wants to spend their holidays searching for a local emergency dentist.
Follow the tips below to avoid damage to your teeth this festive season without missing out on any fun.
Avoid snowball fights
While snowball fights can be exciting, they also come with a big risk of tooth damage. Snowballs which are formed and then left for a while can quickly become hard, solid ice, which is capable of chipping or knocking out teeth when thrown with force. Pieces of grit or hard stone may also be scooped unknowingly into snowballs, increasing the risk of damage to your mouth, teeth and gums.
Stick to building snowmen and making snow angels to avoid tooth damage this year. If you or your kids are desperate for a snowball fight, buy some soft fabric snowballs to play with indoors instead – these have the added bonus of being available even when it’s not cold.
Watch what you eat and drink
We all enjoy indulging in good food and drink during the holidays, but too many treats can damage your teeth. To avoid staining, limit your consumption of dark-coloured drinks like red wine and coffee, and avoid too much citrus. Hard candy canes are a common cause of chipped teeth and take so long to eat that they cover your teeth in enamel-damaging sugar. Pick soft candies or chocolates in festive shapes instead. Don’t deny yourself all treats, though – most foods are fine in moderation as long as you clean your teeth thoroughly afterwards. If you enjoy snacking, try to stick to foods like cheese and nuts, as these don’t contain too much sugar, and won’t lead to tooth decay.
Maintain your regular check-ups and cleanings
Although the holidays can consume our time with holiday parties and festivities, it’s important to remember to visit your dentist for your regular check up and cleaning. Keeping up with regular check ups and cleanings with your dentist ensures healthy oral hygiene all year long. Go ahead an indulge in treats, but don’t forget to brush, floss, rinse, and come see your dentist!
Don’t bake a penny in your pudding
There’s an old tradition of baking a penny into your Christmas pudding, with the idea being that whoever gets the slice with the coin receives good luck. Unfortunately, biting down unexpectedly onto a hard metal coin is a really common way to damage your mouth – there’s nothing lucky about a chipped tooth. Break with this tradition and look for alternatives instead. For example, pass around a bag of coins, with one being gold, and let all your guests pick one.
Making a few simple changes to your festive activities should keep your teeth in great condition. If you get unlucky and damage a tooth anyway, then be sure to see an emergency dentist as soon as possible. Treating dental problems as soon as they occur will prevent them from becoming more serious.