With the constant activity and parties, we all know the holidays can be stressful on the mind, body … and even the teeth. Here are seven hazards and how you can avoid ending up with cracked, stained or cavity-ridden teeth!
Holidays can be stressful, and you may find yourself grinding your teeth. The results can be headaches, jaw pain and damaged teeth. Using a dental mouth guard can help prevent the damage.
- Candy Canes and Other Hard Candies
Biting into a candy cane or other hard candy can cause cracked and chipped teeth, and, of course, all of that sugar sits around in your mouth as well and creates a build-up of bacteria. If you must indulge in candy, go for the dark chocolate.
- Ice, Ice Baby
If you’re socializing at a holiday party, and your drink is empty, don’t start chewing on your ice. Not only is it loud and makes it difficult to talk, it damages your teeth. Chewing ice can cause cracks in the enamel and expose the dentin, causing weaker teeth and sensitivity. The habit can also cause the fillings in your teeth to have a shorter lifespan.
- Too Much Alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol can cause dehydration and dry mouth, and, over time, it can reduce your saliva flow, leading to tooth decay and gum disease.
- Red Wine Specifically
Research has revealed that red wine can actually help prevent cavities because it slows the growth of bacteria; however, it can still stain your teeth. To prevent stains, brush your teeth before going out (wine likes to cling to plaque), try sipping water in between glasses of red wine and eat high fiber foods (such as broccoli) to help brush away the stains. Eating cheese can also help.
- Sodas and Citrus
Along with the alcohol and ice are the sodas and citrus fruits such as lemons and limes. Watch your intake on all of this because acidic foods erode enamel and leads to decay over time. Drink plenty of PLAIN water.
- Dried Fruits
These may seem like a healthy treat, but because they are sticky, they stay on the teeth longer than other foods. Drink water, brush and floss after eating.
If you do have a dental emergency during the holidays, please call Enlighten Dental Care at (336) 765-0904 and follow the prompts.