eatingdessertDuring the holidays, it can be hard to stick to your normal, everyday routine – including the most basic ones such as your oral hygiene. This can wreak havoc on your teeth and lead to a host of consequences, from toothaches that can ruin your holiday cheer, to long-term damage to your teeth and gums. An NYC dentist provides some tips to help you care for your teeth during these special occasions.

There are many reasons why the holidays can be dangerous to your teeth. First, some people’s social calendar can be so jam-packed that it can be easy to simply collapse on your bed at the end of the day instead of going through your nightly ritual of brushing your teeth.

Also, the busy season can make it a challenge to eat regular meals, but the hectic schedule can leave you hungry and reaching out for the convenient (and often sugary) snack on hand.

And then there’s the traditional holiday food that can often consist of sugar-laden treats – delightful, but damaging to your pearly whites.

But with a little bit of planning and willpower, it can still be possible to take care of your teeth religiously without missing out on the holiday fun. The following are some tactics to consider:

Get your travel oral care kit out. Make it so easy for you to brush your teeth after every meal. Keep your traveling dental care set in your purse or pocketbook so that brushing and flossing becomes more convenient, wherever the festivities take you. It also helps to keep sugar-free gum handy (they increase saliva production), but they should not be substituted for brushing.

Don’t overindulge on treats that may be bad for your teeth.You don’t need to deprive yourself of good food – they’re there to be shared during these special times. However, be aware that some things may be more damaging to your health than others, so keep consumption of them at the minimum. Some items to be mindful of: candies, nuts and sticky desserts; sugary and carbo-loaded meals; fruits and wine (they’re highly acidic).

Eat food that keeps your teeth white. All that coffee, chocolates and wine flowing during parties and get-together can cause your teeth to stain. Make your teeth presentable for the token holiday photos by munching on fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots and celery. They promote the healthy production of saliva, which is instrumental in washing away food particles and acid from your mouth.

One final tip: See your dentist at the first sign of a problem, such as pain in the tooth or a tooth that might have cracked. Don’t wait for the problem to worsen and ruin your holiday cheer.

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