It’s officially holiday season and people are preparing to enjoy this time of year and all that it offers. From spending time with family and friends to taking vacation time, the holidays provide people with a chance to catch up with loved ones and relax.
No one wants to deal with a dental emergency this time of year, and indeed, many dental practices don’t have business hours on actual holidays. When it comes to something as important as your smile, how can you avoid dental emergencies during the holiday season?
The following are just some of the ways you can protect your smile this holiday and have healthy teeth and gums for the New Year with the support of your dentist in Asheville!
Get Your Checkup Early
With all the festivities coming up, why not get your dental exam now before things get busy? Getting your checkup before the holidays are officially in full swing gives you a chance to address any issues with your smile now and avoid emergency room visits later.
For example, if you have a filling that’s cracked or loose, holiday treats this time of year could just dislodge your filling, leaving you with a painful hole in your tooth. Your Asheville dentist would be able to spot potential problems such as these during your exam, so take advantage of this time to get your smile evaluated.
Getting your dental exam with your trusted dentist can allow you to skip seeing a dentist away from home and taking the chance of something going wrong with your smile. When your dentist ensures your smile is healthy, you won’t have to worry about experiencing pain while being away from home or in the middle of a get-together.
Also, if you have dental insurance, you may need to use up your benefits before they restart at the beginning of the New Year. There’s no better time than now to get in and see your oral healthcare professional!
Be Choosy about What You Eat
This time of year, it’s hard not to be tempted by all the delicious food going around. However, this makes it even more important to make the right choices for your smile.
You have the opportunity to incorporate plenty of vegetables and fruits in with whatever treats you want to eat. It’s important to remember that very sticky or hard foods such as nut shells, toffee, caramel, and popcorn kernels can crack a filling or a crown. Getting emergency help may be difficult if not impossible depending on where you are and you don’t want to risk having issues during your holiday.
Other foods to be wary of include olives and cherries, which contain hard pits, bones, and candy canes. These all have the potential to injure your teeth!
However, there are some snack foods that are great for your smile and that are often available during the holiday season. These include cheese, which is high in calcium, and nuts, which can help combat inflammation. Exercise caution when eating nuts and remember that raw varieties are generally safer choices for your teeth compared to roasted or candied nuts.
Stress is, unfortunately, a part of the holiday season for many people. We know that stress can have detrimental effects on our bodies, especially chronic stress but what about our smiles?
Stress makes teeth grinding more likely, which can chip or fracture teeth in addition to irritating the gums and even causing painful headaches. Stress also impacts your immune system, so if gum disease or another oral health problem is present, your body will be less likely to fight off an infection.
Stress can also cause you to bite your nails or to chew on other objects, which can injure teeth. Managing your stress can keep your entire body in better health and protect your smile, so whether you need to take some time for yourself this holiday, take on less at work, or just take a few deep breaths, don’t neglect to manage your stress!
Make Oral Health a Priority
This time of year can get hectic, but it’s important to make oral health a priority regardless of whether you’re traveling or staying home this year.
Neglecting your normal oral care routine can mean trouble for your smile. Even skipping brushing for one night leaves plaque and bacteria to accumulate in your mouth, especially if you’ve been indulging in sweets or alcohol.
It’s possible to still enjoy the holidays and stick to your oral care routine. Be sure to brush twice a day and floss once a day like usual. It doesn’t hurt to keep a spare toothbrush on hand or a spare container of floss when traveling or for guests at your home!
Be sure to drink plenty of water as well staying hydrated not only helps to balance your oral bacteria and protect your teeth, but can also act as a buffer so that those extra sweets don’t damage your tooth enamel.
It never hurts to be prepared. This holiday, be sure you have all the things you need to keep up with your oral care routine. If you’re traveling, take along an extra toothbrush just in case!
Making an emergency dental kit can help you be prepared and stay safe during a dental emergency while you’re on vacation. If you have kids with braces, include orthodontic wax in your emergency kit. If you or your kids will be playing sports, don’t forget the mouthguard! You can also keep numbers and information for dentists in the area as well as gauze, over-the-counter pain medication, and a container for a lost tooth in your kit.
Don’t delay in calling your dentist for advice during a dental emergency it could just save your smile!
Have a Smile-Friendly Holiday Season
It’s easy to have a smile-friendly holiday when you’re prepared for what’s ahead. By visiting your dentist before the end of the year, keeping an emergency kit on hand, and making oral care a priority, you can help ensure that there won’t be any emergencies this holiday season.
Contact us at Saunders DDS if you live in the Asheville area and would like to schedule a comprehensive dental exam. You can have a healthy, beautiful smile with the right care this holiday!