A season of holiday cheer doesn’t mean a holiday from dental health. In fact, the change in your schedule and diet means that it is even more essential to be vigilant in maintaining your beautiful smile. Here are five pointers for a healthy mouth during the holidays:
1. Make Sure You are Up-to-Date on Dental Visits
Don’t put off dental visits until you return from your holiday travels. It’s always a good idea to plan ahead, get an appointment early, and take care of your teeth before the hustle and bustle of celebrating. Staying up to date will help prevent dental issues from ruining your time away from home by detecting any underlying issues that need to be treated before your leave. Holidays and vacation times are also very busy time in dental offices, so you want to make sure your appointments are scheduled and taken care of sooner rather than later. And don’t forget about flex benefits! Many flex pay health care plans require you to spend any accumulated funds before year end.
2. Make a Dental Travel Kit
Practically everything comes in a travel size, and the activity of putting together a dental travel kit will encourage great habits while you are away from home. Don’t forget to pack travel-sized mouthwash, floss, and a toothbrush for everyone in the family. And don’t forget about new convenient options like disposable toothbrushes that can be carried for “in-between” brushing on the go. Your kids will love their own dental kit too, so help them to pick out a special brush and mini-toothpaste that is specifically for their time away.
3. Protect Your Toothbrush
If you’re leaving town for the holidays, make sure that your toothbrush stays covered. Extra handling, luggage, and hotel bathrooms provide bacteria extra opportunity to find its way onto your bristles and into your mouth. Several options are available, including anti-bacterial covers. A closed cover gives a warm, damp place for bacteria to thrive, so remember to let your toothbrush dry before covering it up.
4. Watch What You Eat
We are all more likely to indulge in sugary drinks, snacks, and desserts during the holidays. Why not make a conscious decision to eat a bit healthier this year? Instead of just planning your days and family activities around food, look for opportunities for more active fun. You might also decide to pack healthy snacks so that you won’t be tempted to grab a quick treat on the road that may not be good for your teeth.
5. Stick With Your Oral Health Routine
Whatever you decide to eat, don’t forget your regular dental habits. It may be tempting to just go to bed after a long day of family fun, but forgetting your routine could mean no-so-fun dental problems later on. Make brushing and flossing an activity that your family does together. It can be a great opportunity to “de-brief” and discuss the activities of the day or plan for the next.
Wishing you and yours a holiday season full of love,
joy, happiness and healthy smiles!