Holiday Oral Health: How To Protect Your Teeth
It’s hard to believe we’re already more than halfway through December, isn’t it? Before you know it we’ll be watching the ball drop us into 2016! But there’s a lot to do between then and now, especially if you’re planning big for the holidays.
It’s the time of year when a lot of our Orlando patients don’t exactly think about dental care, and who could blame them? There’s not a lot of room for things like that when you have to decorate, buy gifts, bake cookies, clean the house, or make travel plans. But it’s still just as important, if not more so, to take care of your teeth over the holiday season. Follow these tips to avoid ending up unhappy with the gifts your teeth bring you!
Watch Your Stress Level!
While the holiday season can be an exciting time it’s also well known for another state-of-mind: stress. If the sound of Christmas music or the thought of gingerbread men send you into a fit of fear you might be the kind of person who suffers from holiday stress! One of the most common places that people carry stress, along with their backs and shoulders, is their jaw. Like any other physical symptom of stress your jaws can have a seriously painful reaction to being stressed out!
Patients who carry stress in their jaws usually have problems with bruxism, or grinding and clenching their teeth. These patients often experience headaches, neck pain, facial pain, a tired jaw, and joint pain where their jaw meets their skull. All of these pains come together to form a condition called temporomandibular joint disorder, a seriously uncomfortable affliction.
We cantreat TMJ pain,but there are better ways to deal with holiday stress than letting it hurt your joints: know your holiday limits! There’s an art to know how to manage stress, and if you feel it more certain times of the year it can be hard to tell when you’ve hit a wall. We suggest having a friend or family member around who you trust to be your “stress tester.” Let them decide when you need to go take a few minutes for yourself or simply grab a glass of wine and sit down for a bit!
What’s Your Favorite Holiday Treat?
Sugar is everywhere during the holidays, and that means your teeth are in a risky position. With all the cookies, sweet drinks, and other treats available on a moment’s notice it can be tough to know when to stop. But the more you eat the more your teeth are at risk!
It’s essential that you don’t stop taking care of your teeth over the holidays. Make sure you keep brushing twice a day and flossing in the evening – without those regular habits your teeth are at greater risk. It can be hard to maintain a routine if you’re traveling to see family, but make sure the excitement doesn’t cost you your smile.
You should also be drinking plenty of water throughout your holiday. It washes away the bacteria, food particles, and acids that cause cavities and helps your mouth produce more saliva, an essential part of good oral health.
Just Where Did Those Scissors Go?
It’s a common holiday line: “has anyone seen the scissors?” With all the gifts to unwrap, packages to open, ribbons to cut, and other things to get into it can be tempting to just use your teeth. We’ve all done it, but it’s a really bad habit to get into.
Your teeth are tough, but even opening a package can be enough to cause serious damage. The force needed to get results out of your teeth is far more than they’re made to handle. Many holiday parties have been urined by a chipped, cracked, or fractured tooth. Don’t let yours be one too!
When in doubt always use tools for their intended purpose. Scissors for gifts, and your teeth for some of those delicious sugar cookies.
Keep Your Health In 2016
Your oral health commitment doesn’t end with the holiday season. Maintaining a healthy mouth is a constant process, and we’d love to be a part of your future oral health plans! When 2016 gets here don’t forget to see us for a cleaning and exam. We’d love to help you get a baseline of your oral health that can help you plan treatment for years to come.
Don’t wait another day: call Overmeyer Family Dental to schedule an appointment today! You can reach us at (407) 871-3143 or you can request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you in 2016!