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With the holidays just around the corner, there’s an awful lot to celebrate. Time will be spent with family and friends recalling special moments throughout the year and enjoying each other’s company. Drinks will be had to cheers accomplishments and friendships, plenty of hugs and kisses will be given, and sweet treats will be indulged in.

The holidays are a fun and festive time, and who are we to tell you not to celebrate as much as you want? After all, it only comes but once a year! What we do know is that it’s still just as important to take care of your chompers while you celebrate. Keep reading to learn our tips on how to indulge over the holidays, but still welcome the new year with healthy teeth.

1. Hydrate with H2O

No matter what holiday you celebrate, you’re likely to find plenty of drink options. From eggnog to a Manischewitz spritzer to ginger beer, you’ll find no shortage of beverages that are delicious, but may not be great for your teeth.

If you know you’re going to indulge, be sure to also indulge in a little H2O. Drinking water in between beverages (this includes non-alcoholic, too) will help rinse away some of the sugars found in these delightfully sweet cocktails and keep your teeth free of fructose. The less time your pearly whites are exposed to sugar, the better chance you have of staying cavity-free and healthy this holiday season.

If you’re looking to cut back on indulgences altogether, try drinking a full glass of water before meals. Water creates a feeling of fullness and allows you to still indulge, but within reason.

2. Come prepared

While drinking plenty of water and cutting back on sugars this holiday season is a great idea, it certainly doesn’t replace a good old brushing and flossing. One of the best things you can do for your mouth is come prepared to a holiday event. If you know you might be tempted and possibly cave, bring along an emergency dental kit.

At home, prepare a baggie with a travel toothbrush, mini toothpaste, floss and a mini mouthwash. That way, when you’re participating in all the festivities the season has to offer, you can keep your mouth fresh and clean. After eating delicious treats, you can head right to the bathroom to clean off any residue left behind.

3. Snack smart

‘Tis the season for sticky, sweet, hard and chewy treats. On a normal day, you can probably easily avoid these choices. But during the holidays, delicious treats like these are often left sitting out as a non-stop buffet at get-togethers and parties, leaving much more room for temptation.

Popcorn balls, chocolate-raspberry rugelach and sweet potato pie – oh my! These treats and more can remain on the surfaces of teeth for a while unless cleaned off. Try to snack smart and eat some crunchy vegetables, fruit or even cheese. Swapping in some healthier foods not only will do your body good, but your mouth too!

Crunchy veggies naturally clean the surfaces of your teeth, so reach for some celery, broccoli or baby carrots. Fruit is a sweet option with natural sugar that won’t harm teeth and is packed with nutrients healthy for teeth. If you’re imbibing, choose cheese. Cheese helps neutralize the acidic qualities of alcoholic beverages and is rich in calcium which strengthens teeth.

4. Use a tool, not your teeth

There are many times when you probably wish you had more than two hands, and you’re tempted to use your teeth to get the job done instead. But using teeth as tools for holiday wrapping, unwrapping, opening packages or even unshelling nuts is well…nuts and a bad habit that wrecks your teeth.

Make sure you grab the appropriate tool and not your teeth for doing any holiday-related task. While it may seem convenient at the time, chipping or breaking a tooth for the sake of saving a few seconds is not worth it. The last thing you want is to see the dentist while everyone else is celebrating the season.

Keeping these tips in mind will help you keep your smile picture ready and in the best shape for all holiday events. Please come see us and make sure you and your family’s smiles sparkle as bright as the holiday lights. Contact us today!