We promise not to lecture you about eating too much sugar this holiday season although we do lament how so much of what makes the holidays special for families and children alike is the preponderance of sweets, chocolates, fudge and even syrupy drinks. If only there was a holiday where vegetables were the main attraction! No, this blog isn’t a lecture, just a friendly reminder about how to manage your teeth, mouth and gums during the holiday season and what to do in the case of a dental emergency.
These are a few of our favourite things…..
While chocolate and candy are hard to avoid during the holidays, there are some preventative measures you can take to stay healthy. They include:
- All things in moderation. A little chocolate is ok, perhaps even sucking on a candy cane, provided you give your mouth a rinse, at the VERY least, when you are done.
- It should go without saying that all your consumption should be before bedtime! Don’t allow the kids to take a candy cane to bed and have the sugary remains coating their teeth all night. The same goes for sugary drinks before bed, or even a nice, steamy hot cup of cocoa that is also full of sugar.
- Stick to your routines as much as possible, including bedtime routines that involve teeth cleaning – even if you are away this holiday season brushing teeth regularly, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash should all form part of your regular oral health care.
- Be aware of hard candy! This time of year we see more candy canes (obviously!) and even more of the “gummy candy” type products that may or may not be covered in sugar. Gummies STICK to teeth like nobody’s business and if you don’t want that feeling (or the resultant plaque build up and potential for cavities) again rinse your mouth with water till you can get to a sink and brush your teeth! As for hard candy – even candy canes – they can flat out break or chip a tooth. Here are a few considerations for dental emergencies.
- We’ve talked about this before and it’s not far fetched. You don’t have much time but if a tooth breaks cleanly you can try grabbing a glass of milk, put the tooth in it and head over to the dentist office to see if it can be replaced. The chances of it being able to become firmly rooted again are slim but if you’re close by, why not give it a try.
- Candy Canes are hazardous! So are several other kinds of Christmas sweets. If your tooth chips, breaks or falls out, never fear. There is still a very good chance that it will be repairable or replaceable. Perhaps in the meantime however, we might suggest that you chew carefully and bite down gently and try to avoid any kind of dental related emergency holiday headache!
Speaking of the holidays, has anyone ever wondered how it is that Santa, who eats nothing but cookies for his entire trip around the earth, always seems to have such shiny, perfectly healthy white teeth? Well it’s because he is Santa of course! Santa is magical! His globe-trotting expedition every Christmas Eve happens so fast due to Santa’s time travelling technology that he arrives back home at the North Pole before his teeth have even had time to register that he’s eaten a single cookie – never mind an estimated 330 million!
For all of our patients, family and friends who celebrate the holidays at this time of year, whether Hanukkah or Christmas – we first wish you a joyous and happy time now that families are allowed to gather. Secondly however, we urge you to be mindful of the treats (and adults…the alcoholic beverages) and the damage they might do to your teeth, mouth of gums if you’re not careful about brushing afterwards. Of course, it also makes perfect sense to end the way we always do with this friendly reminder: “Don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and brush that smile!”
Happy Holidays From The Brinkley Dental Team in Brampton!