Treat your mouth well for the holidays
|By Dr. Harold Katz - Bad Breath Expert|
SUMMARY: With the holiday season well underway, take a second to take care of yourself and your mouth.
Posted: November 27, 2012
The holiday season is here! Family and friends will be gathering together for cocktails, treats and good cheer over the next few weeks, and sometimes oral health can go overlooked. With all that sticky candy and sugary treats you'll likely be consuming, you wouldn’t want to add a trip to the dentist to your holiday to-do list by neglecting your oral health, would you? What some people don’t realize is that these goodies can wreak havoc on your breath and your entire mouth. The last thing you want at a holiday party is bad breath, but sugary foods and alcohol can lead to this uncomfortable problem for many a jolly holiday party-goer. Here are a few of the things you want to avoid this year:
Regular popcorn is one of the worst foods for your teeth, so you can only imagine how adding tough caramel to the mix will just add fuel to the fire. Popcorn balls will stick to your teeth and be hard difficult to dislodge, and this sugar overload may leave you with bad breath. When food gets caught in the teeth and other crevices in the mouth, it attracts bacteria and leads to not-so-fresh breath. If you simply must indulge in one of these treats, make sure to drink plenty of water afterwards, and brush your teeth thoroughly before hitting the hay.
Take advantage of that nutcracker staring you down, and give your teeth a break! When you’re already indulging in alcoholic drinks and sugary treats, it's fair to say that your tooth enamel is taking enough of a beating; so, trying to crack open a pistachio with your molars is not a good route to take.
One of the most festive drinks of the season is eggnog, but this sugar-loaded and dairy-based beverage will leave your breath in disarray. Unfortunately, the list of drinks that should be avoided doesn’t end here. Holiday cocktails are usually lavish and packed with sugar, so it’s important to drink these in moderation. If possible - and your family members don’t point and laugh - try to drink these holiday cocktails with a straw. That way, it will be a straight shot to the back of the mouth and you won’t swish around these drinks like mouthwash, allowing the sugary substance to saturate your teeth.
To boot, alcohol causes dry mouth, which can lead to bad breath and other oral health issues. After a night of drinking, many people often wake up feeling like they need to chug a glass of water in order to moisturize their bodies and mouths, but spending the entire night with a dry mouth isn’t ideal.
For some reason, people tend to smoke more cigarettes during the holiday season. Whether they are out more often in social settings or are simply more stressed out, lighting up a cigarette may seem like the way to go. Smokers tend to band together during parties, but try to avoid taking every trip outside. This is also a popular time for cigar smoking. To celebrate with others, enjoying a stogie may top your holiday to-do list every year. If this is the case for you, it might be the perfect time to carry around an alcohol free mouthwash to lessen the smell afterwards.
Take care of yourself
During the holiday season, it’s easy to forget about your own health. With work events, parties and shopping, you may lose track of a few other important things, including sleep. If you are tired and exhausted everyday, you may end up forgetting about brushing your teeth at night. If you fall asleep on the couch, or come home after a long day and make a bee line to your bed, make sure you take a quick pit stop in the bathroom to brush your teeth first. To prevent bad breath and other issues, it’s very important to brush and floss before falling asleep.