It’s easy to slip into bad dental habits during the holidays. Hectic schedules filled with last-minute shopping, decorating, and visiting friends and family members cause you to neglect your regular oral health routine. Less brushing and flossing are not the only problems – stress, food, and alcohol are all major factors in declining dental health, as well.
Don’t neglect your oral health this holiday season. Incorporate these four easy tips into your busy day to keep your oral health in great shape. Help your friends and family keep their smiles healthy this season, too, with a few ‘oral health’ themed gift ideas.
Travel-size is not just for vacations
Brushing and flossing twice a day is crucial for optimum oral health. Dig out your travel-sized toothbrush, toothpaste and floss from your luggage and stow them in your car. Late nights and early mornings go hand-in-hand with the holidays, so be prepared to brush and floss when and wherever you can. For a quick added bonus, use the convenient handheld toothpick-floss combo tools while stuck in holiday traffic. Also, check out these dentist-approved flossing tips.
Gift idea: Oral health gift basket. While this may not be the most exciting gift ever received, it’s easily the most useful. Include the basic items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash and floss, but be creative. Add your friend or family member’s favorite gum, mints, and lip balm, or stick with a color scheme or trip theme. Personalize it by adding their initials, and a cheerful note. The possibilities are endless.
Stress damages your teeth
There is no holiday season without stress. Stress is believed to be the number one cause of teeth grinding and clenching. The wearing and tearing this habit does to your teeth can damage tooth enamel and enhance sensitivity, and can lead to extensive jaw damage or gum disease over time. The best way to stop grinding or clenching is by relieving stress completely. That seems impossible during the holidays, but taking a moment for yourself is easier than you think. Keep Ibuprofen or Advil close by to relax stiff muscles, take a warm bath before bed to temporarily relax your jaw muscles, exercise, or take a quick walk to relieve stress and tension.
Gift idea: A massage or a spa day is the best gift available. Eliminating stress makes the holidays more enjoyable and keeps the body and mind sane and sound.
Whiten your smile with fruits and veggies
The fiber in leafy greens and fruits act as nature’s toothbrush to scrub away excess plaque and stains from the surface of your teeth, giving you a whiter and healthier smile. Avoid these smile-damaging foods and eating fibrous fruits and vegetables instead. Fruits and veggies boost saliva flow to give your mouth a natural rinse. However, these fibrous fruits also have a high sugar content, so always brush after eating. In a hurry for a whiter smile? Schedule a quick and easy whitening session with us today.
Recipe ideas: It’s easy to incorporate delicious high fiber meals like this acorn squash with quinoa stuffing or any of these healthy avocado recipes into your holiday menu. Want more options? Read through this list of the 20 best fibrous foods and recipes.
Red wine lovers: Brush before you drink
Plaque build-up on the outside of the teeth is easily stained by the red tint, so brush it away a couple of minutes before you enjoy your first glass. Always stay hydrated while drinking, but have glass or two of water immediately after drinking to rid your mouth of the acids from wine. Brushing immediately after your last glass while the acid is fresh in your mouth can damage the important enamel in your teeth. Fun fact: cheese is not only wine’s perfect pairing; it forms a great protectant layer on your teeth that can prevent staining.
Gift idea: Wine lover’s (oral health) gift basket. In addition to the contents above, include thesewine wipes or this wine scented candle to keep in theme of good oral health, and maybe thisbottle sweater for fun. Gift baskets are super easy and cheap to make, but here are other clever gifts for the wine enthusiast in your life if gift baskets aren’t your forte.
The Smile Spa offers a variety of dental and spa services in Baton Rouge that can make great gifts for the holidays. Contact us today!