How to Avoid Holiday Dental Woes

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, even through New Year’s, one can expect to find temptation. You may bake extra cookies to give to friends and relatives, or you may join family for a holiday meal and succumb to pumpkin pie, chocolate candy, and other sweets. Holiday eating eventually takes a toll on your waistline, and it isn’t always friendly to your teeth. If you’re concerned about good dental health this winter, take the time to learn how you can avoid any issues during your next dental visit.

Over Thanksgiving, your teeth may get quite a workout, enjoying turkey and vegetables and a slice of holiday pie. It’s good to pace yourself during the long weekend, especially if you plan to have snacks out for the marathon of football games and televised parades. Keeping healthy snacks and relish trays, for one, is a good step toward healthy eating, and a good way to help preserve your teeth. Prepare foods that work well with teeth – cheese and fruit and raw veggies – and enjoy in moderation.

If you feel tempted by that late night snack calling you – that lone slice of pumpkin bread or homemade rum balls dipped in chocolate – there are ways to resist.

1) Brush after every meal. When you brush immediately after having breakfast, lunch and dinner, you are less inclined to continue eating. Some families may come to the holiday table early in the day, so if you brush after the meal it creates time between the next sit-down, and you may not wish to munch in the space between.

2) Remove yourself from the kitchen and dining room. If you’re not around food 24/7, your less inclined to eat. If you’re not interested in battling holiday shoppers at the mall, find another activity that takes you away from food and into something healthy.

3) Floss. If you eat more, you’ll need to floss more. Of course, you should be flossing regardless, but during the holidays it is especially important since you will probably eat more than you would on a regular day. The cleaner you keep your teeth in this time, the more likely you’ll be vigilant that you don’t overindulge.

The winter holidays are a time for family and friends to come together and give thanks for health and happy events. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or other holidays, you are sure to enjoy a good amount of food. You might watch your weight, but don’t forget about your teeth!

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia Beach dentists and Virginia Beach dental offices.