It’s not easy to stay healthy during the holidays. Sweets seem to appear everywhere you go, and with all of the present-wrapping and card-writing, there’s not much time to devote to you and your family’s health and well-being. Luckily in our youth we were blessed with Hermey the Elf, best known for his adventures with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. He dreamed of being, not a toy maker like all the other elves but rather a DENTIST! So he joined forces with the American Dental Association (ADA) to come up with tips for keeping your mouth and teeth healthy during the holidays.
He did so well in fact that In 2014, the ADA awarded Hermey with a Dental Do Gooder (DDG) for his passion for dentistry. Congrats Hermey! A few year ago, Hermey and the ADA came up with a set of tips to help families keep their smiles in tip-top shape through the sweet and sugary season that is the holidays!
Today we’ll be sharing those tips with all of you.
✓ Start with a healthy routine.
Hermey always brushes his teeth two times a day, for two minutes. ALWAYS. And you should too! Brushing is the simplest and most effective way to keep your smile is Christmas selfie ready at all times. Bonus points to those who use a fluoride toothpaste that has earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
✓ Opt for the Carrots.
We’re looking at you too, Santa! Cookies are delicious and no holiday party would be complete without a couple. However; every time you eat that cookie you are coating your entire smile in sugar. That sugar is a gift to all the cavity causing bacteria in your mouth and can land you in some serious pain if not addressed. If you are sneaking cookies from Santa’s plate be sure to grab a carrot or two as well.
Carrots are very fibrous and even ignoring all the amazing nutrients packed within the bright orange crunch sticks, the crunch of the carrot can actually help to clean off your teeth.
✓ Visit the Dentist & Santa this Year!
The holidays can be a busy time, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about your teeth. Many of us make time to mark our calendars every year to take the kids to see Santa, or visit the best local light shows, be sure to do the same with your dentist checkups.
If you are due for a teeth cleaning or need work done, don’t forget to visit your dentist in December. The holidays are hard enough on great teeth, don’t even get us started on what it does to damaged teeth.
✓ Drink water.
You need a lot of energy for holiday activities, but avoid drinking sodas, sports drinks and juices with lots of sugar. Instead, drink water with fluoride in it to keep your teeth strong and healthy.
Water is also great from rinsing your mouth after consuming sugary drinks or foods. When you finish a cookie, candy cane or glass of eggnog be sure to wash it all down with some water and remove some of that build up between brushing.
✓ Protect your teeth.
Wear a mouthguard whenever you play sports – or reindeer games – this winter. As adorable as that song “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth” is, the reality is a lot less adorable. Losing teeth, especially in blunt, forceful ways like during sports play can be very damaging to your entire mouth.
Wear all the appropriate protective gear and be sure you hold onto those pearly whites until at least next Christmas!
Let’s all channel our inner Hermey this holiday season and enjoy the season to the fullest while still respecting our oral health! Happy Holidays!