You might love your dentist, but they’re probably not at the top of the list of people you want to spend too much time with this holiday season. We’re meant to visit our dentist every six months and when an emergency situation strikes. In order to prevent the latter from occurring, follow these five tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy this time of year.
1. Use a Nutcracker
Although it might look cool to crack open nuts with your teeth, doing so can break your pearly whites. And a chipped tooth certainly doesn’t look cool. Your best bet is to shell nuts with a nutcracker before you eat them.
2. Avoid Chewy Treats
A lot of holiday candy platters are chock full of candy options that can harm your teeth and gums. Sticky substances like taffy, caramel, and gummy candy can cling to your tooth enamel and result in cavities. They might even pull out restorations like fillings and crowns. It’s best to eat these treats in moderation and along with other foods to keep them from sticking to your teeth.
3. Don’t Use Your Teeth as Tools
You might be excited to open your presents this year, but that doesn’t mean you should rip open packaging with your teeth. Applying this kind of pressure to your teeth can cause them to break, resulting in your needing a costly procedure like a root canal. Save yourself the money by using your hands to open your gifts.
4. Quit Biting Your Nails
While the holidays can be anxiety-inducing, learn to manage your stress in healthier ways than biting your fingernails. Nail biting has been linked to jaw problems, worn tooth enamel, teeth grinding, and sensitive teeth. If you get the urge to bite your nails, pop in a piece of sugar-free gum instead to satisfy your craving to chew something.
5. Don’t Chew on Ice Cubes or Hard Candy
This goes along with the earlier tip about not using your teeth as tools. Ice cubes and hard candy can chip your teeth, which is not only painful, but can be expensive to treat. Furthermore, ice can result in sensitive teeth, and hard candies bathe your teeth in sugar, attracting bacteria that promote tooth decay.
About the Author
Dr. James Maurer earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Minnesota, then moved to practice dentistry in Longmont, CO. He treats each and every patient like a member of his own family. He is also a member of several professional dental organizations. To learn more ways to keep your teeth healthy this holiday season, click here to contact his practice, Longmont Complete Dentistry.