This holiday season, why not celebrate healthy smiles for yourself and your loved ones? Flashing a healthy smile can bring joy to loved ones and strangers alike, boost your self-confidence, and brighten your mood, as well as those you share your smile with. Our wish this holiday season is to help you experience the joys of a healthy, appealing smile.
Keeping your mouth safe means practicing good daily oral hygiene: brushing and flossing without skipping a day, no matter how busy you are or whether you are traveling and celebrating with loved ones. Giving the gift of a healthy smile also has long-lasting, life-altering benefits. Check out these tips for celebrating the holidays in a tooth-protecting style!
Drinks on the Naughty List
– Drinks with pigments from dark-colored drinks damage and stain teeth (think coffee, tea, and red wine). Red wine has enamel-damaging acid and staining tannins. But white wine has even more acid than red wine, causing enamel erosion and leading to tooth discoloration and staining.
– Hot chocolate contains chromogens, pigment-producing substances that stick to enamel and stain it, and is often loaded with sugar and marshmallows that lead to tooth decay and cavities.
– Soda is sugar-laden and highly acidic and holiday punch is hazardous to teeth as they are often made from highly pigmented berries like cherries, pomegranates, blackberries or blueberries with tooth-staining chromogens, as well as sugar and soda. Limit your teeth’s exposure to these beverages and drink plenty of water to keep your mouth hydrated for healthy, cavity-fighting saliva levels.
Foods on the Naughty List
Part of festive holiday traditions includes treats like candy canes, cookies, cakes, and pies that are bad for your teeth, not just your waistline. Avoid sticky treats like caramel corn and toffee, as oral bacteria can feed off their sticky residue, creating damaging acids that wear down tooth enamel. All hard candies, including candy canes, peppermints, and peppermint sticks, are filled with sugar, and biting into them can crack a filling or weak tooth. Toffee and peanut brittle are both hard and chewy, which can end up chipping a tooth or dislodging a filling. Even candied nuts are risky to your teeth.
Foods on the Nice List
- Serve all the turkey and ham you and your family love. Both have healthy protein and while turkey has phosphorus, ham has potassium that allows your pearly whites to utilize calcium more efficiently.
- Cheeses like Monterey Jack, cheddar, Brie, Camembert, Roquefort, and Gorgonzola are loaded with calcium and protein, and they neutralize acidity in your mouth to protect against cavities.
- Soft nuts like cashews, walnuts, butternuts, hickory nuts, pecans, pine nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, and Brazil nuts are high in calcium and protein and low in sugar.
- Create a colorful raw vegetable platter loaded with vibrant crunchy carrots, celery, radishes, broccoli, bell peppers, and jicama or salads made with leafy greens like kale, spinach, chard, or collard greens to nurture teeth and gums.
- Fruit platters: ‘Tis the season for fresh, colorful fruit like apples, pears, grapes, and kiwis that do not stick to teeth.
Gifts and Stocking Stuffers on the Nice List
You can further protect your loved one’s teeth by giving gifts that keep teeth healthy and strong! Some tooth-friendly gift-giving ideas include:
- Sugar-free chocolates and sugar-free gum tempt the taste buds. Floss picks to help that person who needs to floss more.
- Electric toothbrush with cartoon characters or fun colors for kids or tasteful aesthetics for teens and adults.
- Take-home teeth whitening kit for teens and adults.
- Mouth guard for the athletic child, teen, or adult in your life.
- Fun toothbrush case for traveling or sleepover-loving kids.
- Cute toothpaste dispenser that is animal-shaped for kids.
- Toys and books for kids or gag gifts and books for grownups.
- Gift certificate for orthodontic treatment.
The Gift of a Healthy Smile
This holiday season, why not give gifts that promote a healthy, beautiful smile all year round? Whether it is a state-of-the-art toothbrush or oral irrigator that will make them look forward to brushing and flossing every day, whitening toothpaste, or a gift certificate for our in-house teeth whitening treatment, all these presents are sure to create healthier, beautiful smiles!