5 Teeth Friendly Holiday Tips for Good Cheer!

teeth friendly holiday tips

Follow these five teeth friendly holiday tips to steer clear of emergency trips to the dentist’s office this season.

No matter how much you love your dentist, he or she probably doesn’t top the list of people you want to spend quality time with over the holidays.

1. Don’t crack nuts with your teeth.

Although protein found in nuts helps keep muscles and bones strong, you shouldn’t test the strength of your teeth by shelling nuts with them. The hard surface of most nutshells can cause serious tooth and gum damage, and may even crack teeth. Your safest bet? Shell nuts before snacking on them.

2. Pass on chewy treats.

Holiday candy platters are often loaded with treats that can harm your teeth. Sticky substances cling to tooth enamel and encourage tooth decay, and thick candies like caramel and taffy can even yank out fillings. Eat these sweets sparingly and along with other foods to help keep the treats from sticking to your teeth.

3. Use proper tools to open packages and bottles.

We know you’re excited to rip into that gift from your great aunt, but your teeth are not the right tools for the task. Gripping a package or stubborn bottle cap with your teeth can crack them, possibly requiring a root canal procedure and a crown for repair. Give your mouth a great gift – reach for scissors or a bottle opener instead.

4. Avoid chewing on hard candy or ice cubes.

Crunching on ice or hard candy can lead to cracked or chipped teeth, which are painful and pricey to treat. Whether you’re enjoying a sweet or finishing the ice in your holiday cocktail, let it dissolve naturally in your mouth. Better yet, skip these items altogether. Ice can cause discomfort for sensitive teeth, and hard candies promote tooth decay.

5. Say “no” to nail biting.

The holidays can be stressful, but biting your nails won’t bring relief. Anxious nibbling is bad for both fingernails and teeth. Experts have linked the habit to teeth grinding, clenching, jaw problems, facial pain and sensitive teeth. If you get the urge to chew, distract yourself for a minute or two and see if the feeling goes away. If that doesn’t work, consider buying bitter-tasting polish that’s designed to dissuade you from putting your nails anywhere near your mouth.

Be sure to check these tips twice to stay off your dentist’s naughty list this season!

SOURCE: Delta Dental

Why Summer is Hard on Kids’ Teeth

Summertime is Carefree … and Hard on Kids’ Teeth

Teens and summertime go together like the Fourth of July and cookouts. For many teens summer means carefree days of sleeping in, hanging out with friends, going to the movies and let’s not forget – no homework! But summer snacking, lazy days and other hot weather habits can be hard on kids’ teeth.

Unfortunately, teens and tweens sometimes take the summer off from oral hygiene, and that makes it harder for kids to stay on top of cavity prevention. Many dentists know that summertime often means more time for kids to drink sodas, eat sticky candy and consume starchy foods like french fries, pizzas and white bread.

Dental Wire has reported previously on drinks and foods that hurt tooth enamel and foster cavities, and Agent Straight-Talk has offered healthy tips on foods and diets that are helpful for our teeth and oral health.

What is it about summer that makes the tooth care of teens and tweens more difficult?

1) Kids have more free time in the summer so they invest much of that extra time doing what many of us like to do when the “fish are jumpin’, and the livin’ is easy” – eat. And much of what they’re eating lodges between their teeth, lingers in their mouth for long periods and feeds the bacteria that create cavities.

2) Summertime is hot, and many people like chewing or sucking on ice in an effort to stay cool. While chewing on ice may be a popular summer pastime, it is never a good idea because it can cause tiny fractures in the teeth that weaken them. Once weakened, the teeth may eventually break off or absorb extra bacteria into their fissures that become cavities.

3) Permissive parenting often means more popsicles, sodas and ice cream for kids with time on their hands and parents counting the days until school starts again. Because kids are often allowed to stay up later they may “forget” about brushing their teeth before bedtime and need reminded.

4) Prolonged exposure to chlorine in swimming pools can wear away tooth enamel. Anyone know of a kid who doesn’t take in a couple of mouthfuls of pool water while swimming with friends?

Parents can ensure their kids take good care of their teeth and have a good summer with a few quick tips:

  • Have kids take their sweet or gummy vitamins with breakfast and before brushing their teeth each morning
  • Fun foods like nuts and yogurt strengthen a tooth’s surface so supplement your child’s sweet tooth with more healthy staples
  • Apples, pears, yogurt and other dairy neutralize acids in food like tomatoes and citrus so keep these on hand to counter less healthy summer treats
  • Keep your mouth closed while swimming and lightly brush your teeth afterwards
  • Have kids sip sugary drinks through a straw to minimize contact with the teeth
  • Encourage kids to drink water frequently during the day to wash their teeth and counter bacteria
  • Everyone in the family should brush twice daily and floss regularly

While summer presents some challenges for kids’ oral hygiene, using practical tips today can help parents enjoy lazy, carefree days without sacrificing their kids’ bright smiles in the fall.

Source: Dental Insurance Store