5 Easy Ways to Stay Off Our Naughty List

The holidays are a happy time, but also a stressful time. Between the traveling, presents, family, food, and festivities, you are probably not giving your oral hygiene much thought. Luckily for you, Old Settlers Dental is here to help you keep your teeth healthy this holiday season, and keep you off our naughty list! Read on for some simple tips!

1. Don’t crack nuts with your teeth

Although protein found in nuts helps keep muscles and bones strong, the hard surface of most nutshells can cause serious tooth and gum damage, and may even crack teeth. If you are getting ready to snack on some nuts, your best bet is to shell them before eating them.

2. Pass on chewy treats

Holiday platters and stockings are often loaded with treats that can harm your teeth. Sticky substances cling to tooth enamel and encourage tooth decay, and thick candies like caramel and taffy can even yank out fillings. Eat these sweets sparingly and along with other foods to help keep the treats from sticking to your teeth, and remember to floss and brush as soon as possible after.

3. Use proper tools to open packages and bottles

We know gifts are exciting and you just can’t wait to rip into the package, but your teeth are not the right tools for the task. Gripping a package or stubborn bottle cap with your teeth can crack them. Don’t want a root canal or crown for Christmas? Give your mouth a great gift – reach for scissors or a bottle opener instead.

4. Avoid chewing on hard candy or ice cubes

Crunching on ice or hard candy can lead to cracked or chipped teeth, which are painful and pricey to treat. Whether you’re enjoying a sweet or finishing the ice in your holiday cocktail, let it dissolve naturally in your mouth.

5. Sip on water with your drinks

The holiday festivities will be abundant with delicious, and staining drinks. When you’re enjoying your wine, coffee, or eggnog, keep a glass of water nearby. After every few sips of your drink, swish some water in your mouth to help keep some of the pigments from lingering on your teeth.

6. Brush, brush, brush your teeth- and floss!

Whenever possible, brush your teeth as soon as you can after a meal if it could stain. Think about your teeth as a white shirt- if you spilled this food on your shirt, would it stain? If so, it will stain your teeth. Also, keep floss handy to get stain-causing foods from in between teeth, where they are likely to linger and cause harsher stains.