During the holidays, many good habits going flying out the window. Our children (and, let’s face it, we do it too) eat way too much sugar, snack on candies, forget to brush, and stop exercising. Here at Andersen Dental Center, we completely understand why this happens, but we are hoping to help you avoid building plaque on your teeth over the holidays with these teeth-saving tips:

1. Prepack your toothbrush.

Many of our wonderful patients are heading out of town or have overnight stays with family scheduled. Save your teeth once you get there by buying a travel toothbrush, extra floss, and an appropriately sized toothpaste tube and mouthwash container.  Then, pre-pack your bags with these oral care essentials. This will help you keep your basics on you – even if you forget your regular toothbrush.

This “pre-packing” technique works great for other health care necessities as well. For example, if you use medication or use prescription creams, you can pre-pack these items in travel size containers and be ready to fly on a moment’s notice.

2. Snack smart.

It’s a given that you and your family will eat candy this year, but try to stay away from sticky candies like toffee. Also, pack healthy snacks for you and your children. We know it’s time to get into the holiday cheer, but your teeth with thank you for staying away from sugary treats as much as possible.

Some snacks that help your teeth include cheese, carrot sticks, apples, almonds, yogurt, celery, pears, and grapes. All of these foods should be fresh and available this holiday season.

3. Keep up your oral routine.

While many habits fall by the wayside over the holidays, your oral care is something you can’t slack off on. Be diligent and be sure to:

  • Brush at least twice a day
  • Rinse or brush after every meal
  • Floss every day.

4. Rinse when you cannot brush.

There are plenty of opportunities to snack this holiday season, many of which do not give you time to run to the bathroom to brush right after. So, make sure that you minimally rinse with water immediately after eating. This isn’t a foolproof plaque prevention method, but it can freshen your mouth and remove food particles from between your teeth.

5. Increase your water intake.

Drinking more water not only helps to rinse your mouth, but it will also increase the amount of saliva you have in your mouth. Saliva is a key component in preventing tooth decay, protecting enamel, and preventing bad breath. So, if you want your mouth staying fresh, keep sipping water.

6. Ask your children to help.

If you have more than one child, ask them to keep each other accountable when it comes to their oral care – even during the excitement of an actual holiday.

If you have only one child, recruit him or her to keep you accountable for your teeth this holiday season. You can also ask a partner or spouse to be your accountability partner this December.

We know this season can be tough on everyone’s overall health routines. However, with some diligence (and maybe an accountability partner), you can keep your mouth healthy and happy over the holidays.

If you haven’t scheduled your next oral health checkup, be sure to get your appointment booked. It’s easy to do, just click here.