Holiday Oral Health Tips: Stay Healthy!
We’re well into December, and that means the holidays are upon us. If you’re like many of the people in the Millburn area you’re probably getting ready to meet with family and friends, head out of town, get shopping done, and eat lots of good food over the coming weeks.
Along with those great holiday happenings comes some not so pleasant things as well: stress, overindulging in sweets, and exhaustion can all come into play this month. We want to give you some tips to enjoy a mouth healthy holiday season so you can join us at Millburn Dental Arts in 2016!
Watch Your Stress Level
There are two types of holiday personalities: those who love hearing Christmas songs in November and those who really don’t need to hear them at all. What both of these people have in common, though, is a lot of stress during the holiday season.
Whether you’re a grinch or the jolly type there’s always the possibility of getting too stressed out during the holidays: travel, shopping, making sure everything is perfect, and getting all that cooking done can all take a toll. Those stressors, in turn, can lead to teeth grinding and jaw clenching: both are common habits of excessively stressed people!
Grinding and clenching can lead to problems with your jaw joint that cause headaches, facial pain, muscle tension, worn teeth, and even lockjaw. These are all symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. Take the advice of our Millburn dental team: don’t go overboard this holiday season and simply enjoy being with loved ones. That’s what the holidays are all about!
Don’t Eat Too Much Sugar
Sugar cookies, candy canes, eggnog, hot cocoa … it’s hard to list all the seasonal sweets that will be available in the next few weeks! If you have a tendency to overindulge on sugar we understand, but we still want to warn you about the oral health risks involved!
When sugar meets your oral bacteria the two react to form dangerous plaque acids. These acids eat away at your teeth, and while you might not notice a difference in the few weeks leading up to the new year you can still start your teeth down the road to cavities with just a bit too much sugar.
Preventing cavities can be easy if you take the right steps. Most importantly, you need to be brushing twice a day and flossing in the evenings. No, you can’t skip that during the holidays: floss every night! You also need to be sure you’re drinking plenty of water between the spiked eggnog and the coffee. Water keeps you hydrated so that your mouth can produce saliva. Saliva is essential to washing away harmful oral bacteria, the acids they produce, and the food particles that they feed on.
Lastly, make sure you have an exam and cleaning scheduled for some time in the new year. Professional checkups at Millburn Dental Arts are a fundamental part of maintaining oral health. We’ll be able to catch cavities early, reverse the damage, and clean the tough-to-reach spots in your mouth that you can’t help but miss.
Teeth Are Not Tools
We all do it sometimes: why reach for the scissors when you have some nice sharp teeth? It’s a very bad habit to get into, and the holidays are a prime time for these sorts of costly mistakes. Whether it’s ribbon for a gift, a package, the shell of a nut, or some other hard object, there are tools around to open them: find one!
The force required to make your teeth perform the tasks listed above is enough force to damage them. You could end up slamming them together too hard and causing all sorts of damage. Chips, cracks, fractures, and other damage are all common when you use your teeth as tools. Don’t ruin the holidays in one swift motion: keep the scissors handy.
The Holidays Can Be Safe
Keeping up with your day-to-day oral health habits, minimizing stress, moderating your sugar intake, and not using your teeth as tools are all good advice over the holiday season. We want to see you at our Millburn dentist office in the new year with a healthy, undamaged smile and it’s up to you to make that happen!
There’s still time for one last visit before things get crazy so don’t hesitate to call us today at (973) 957-1604. You can also request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!