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Oral Hygiene Tips for the Holiday Season

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"With their busy schedules and increased stress levels, I've noticed that my patients' oral hygiene suffers," says AGD spokesperson George Shepley, DDS, MAGD. "They forget the most basic of oral hygiene tasks that can counteract the effects of sugary snacks and drinks."

Dr. Shepley offers sound advice on several topics:

Sugar and Candy
Eating common holiday treats such as candy canes and cookies can increase the likelihood of developing caries. To avoid this problem, Dr. Shepley recommends brushing or flossing after eating sweet treats. If you can't do that right away, drinking water or chewing sugarless gum can help wash away bacteria.

Wine and Alcohol
The AGD article states that the high acidity levels in both red and white wine can eat away at enamel. To avoid damaging tooth enamel, refrain from swishing wine in your mouth. Another tip: drink water in between drinks to rinse teeth of acid.

Some people may experience heightened stress during the holidays, which may cause people to grind or clench teeth. Grinding and clenching can cause jaw pain, headaches, and chipping. Dr. Shepley advises, "It's also important to see your dentist, who can recommend solutions like a custom night guard. Wearing one at night will prevent you from taking out the holiday stress on your teeth while you sleep."

Please keep this advice in mind during the holiday season!

Monica Barudin is an Assistant Editor for Dental Product Shopper and Hygiene Product Shopper.

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