Our Kearny Mesa dentist wants you to know that it’s easy to keep your teeth healthy every day. If you’re worried about all of the sweets you’ll be eating over the Christmas break, here are some tips for a healthy smile during the holidays:
Drink Tap Water During the Day
A great oral care routine includes plenty of fluoridated tap water. Water helps flush away bacteria, leftover food particles, and neutralizes acid levels inside your mouth. Plus, tap water is monitored for fluoride levels when most commercial bottled waters are not.
Make it a point to drink several glasses of water a day, especially between meals when you might not be brushing your teeth at the office. Rinsing is great too, as it helps lift stain particles and food after meals. Just remember that drinking or swishing with water doesn’t replace brushing and flossing. It’s just one aspect of a great oral hygiene routine.
Brush Your Gumlines Well (and Gently)
Better oral hygiene in Kearny Mesa starts with healthy gums. After all, your gums are what help connect and stabilize your teeth to the rest of your body. It’s important to brush well along the gumlines each day since plaque tends to be heaviest in those areas. Just don’t scrub too hard, as aggressive brushing can cause gum recession and enamel abrasion. Use just enough pressure to cause your gums to slightly blanch. If you tend to be heavy handed, hold your toothbrush with just 3-4 fingers instead of all 5 of them.
Know When to Snack
Do you have to say no to every sweet holiday treat that comes your way? Nope, you don’t. Although it is a good idea to steer clear of anything too hard or sticky, especially if you have a lot of dental work. When you do choose to indulge, keep in mind that every time you snack on something it will leave active acids inside of your mouth for about 30 minutes at a time. So, to snack smarter, indulge in your sweets right after your meal instead of spreading them out throughout the afternoon. A larger portion of dessert with your meal is technically better for your teeth than taking a small bite or two every half hour when you walk by the kitchen.
Gift Yourself an Electric Toothbrush
Who says that electric toothbrushes don’t make great Christmas gifts? And if it’s for yourself, you don’t have to think twice. A high-quality electric brush makes it easier to have healthier, cleaner teeth and gumlines every day. Just remember that you tend to get what you pay for. If you have any questions about choosing the best toothbrush, the team at Landmark Dental Arts can give you a short list to choose from. Ideally you want one with soft bristles that’s rechargeable and has interchangeable heads.
Bonus: a lot of newer toothbrush models have built-in timers to help you stay on track for two minutes of toothbrushing.
Sleep in a Nightguard
Are the holidays stressing you out? Is family drama causing your blood pressure to rise? If you’re waking up clenching your teeth, suffer from headaches, or have a sore jaw, you might be grinding your teeth at night. Wearing a protective nightguard can help you avoid broken teeth or dental work, not to mention cut back on the headaches. There are also designs that are comfortable to wear during the daytime. Just remember when you feel stressed out to have your lips together but your teeth apart; your teeth shouldn’t be clenched together when your mouth is at rest.
Time to Squeeze in that Last Dental Checkup?
How long has it been since you’ve last visited our Kearny Mesa Dentist? If you’re due for a checkup in your oral care routine, now is a great time to call. Limited appointments are still available through the end of the year. Contact Landmark Dental Arts today to reserve your next visit.