The professionals at Prevent Dental Suites in Kallangur are committed to your long-term oral health and overall wellness.
When it comes to surviving the holidays this year, here are some suggestions about how to take care of your oral health, and at the same time, your overall health. First of all …
BE REALISTIC – “We have met the enemy and he is us!”
If we are honest with ourselves, most of us already know how we will sabotage our own plans. No matter what resolutions or goals we set for ourselves, we all have secret, backdoor plans to get out of them. Secret to everyone except … ourselves!
So with a little self-reflection you can be ready for your own booby traps and stay on track to take care of yourself.
This holiday season, make it a goal to try to do better than last year and the year before that. You don’t have to transform into the perfect health fanatic; instead, just try to make some measurable improvements over your past history.
Remember, by keeping your teeth healthy, you will be helping to keep all of you healthy.
Tips for keeping your teeth healthy and happy through this dangerous time of the year
Plan healthy routines and stick to them:
Adopt some healthy habits and stick to them. Routine and habit are your friends in this department.
Some examples are: go to the gym 4 times a week, walk during lunches or after dinner, don’t graze between meals, don’t skip breakfast and eat dinner before 7pm (at least 3 hours before going to bed), resist sugary and processed foods, eat in moderation at parties, meetings, and family events.
Those things will be a great help for you to avoid putting on weight, damaging your teeth, and falling into an unhealthy, holiday rut. But you have to stick to your routines! Do not allow yourself to make excuses and self-sabotage your plan. Tell others about your goals and routines so that they can bolster your will power by holding you accountable.
Avoid putting yourself into situations where temptations might be too strong to resist. Know your limits and reward yourself for successfully staying on track. Allow yourself an indulgence occasionally or treat yourself to something special for reaching a goal.
Don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect and for sometimes failing to stick to your healthy commitments. If you only reached half of your goals, you probably improved your behavior a lot more than you would have if you had never set any goals. Going to the gym twice a week (rather than 4 times a week) is much better than not going to the gym at all.
Get enough sleep
The holidays are a time of increased anxiety and worry for many people. Nervous mental stress can damage our health, especially our teeth, in significant ways.
Stress can weaken tooth enamel making it easier for cavities to form. The body’s ability to fight off gum disease is weakened and placing us at greater risk of developing gingivitis. Clenching and grinding teeth during sleep can damage teeth and cause jaw pain.
One of the body’s best methods of dealing with stress is through sleep. Sleep deprivation increases stress and causes health problems that ripple throughout the body.
By going to sleep and waking up at regular and consistent times, your ability to cope with added holiday stress will be greatly enhanced. Make plans to start winding down and getting ready for bed at a consistent and reasonable hour everyday, and do your best to stick to that schedule.
Most people need 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep to be fully rested. Remember, time spent sleeping is not wasted time. It is time well spent on your health and wellness. Failing to keep a regular sleep schedule will seriously impair your ability to cope with stress in general, and the added stress of the holidays in particular.
Prepare alternatives to unhealthy snacks and drinks
You already know that you’re going to run into holiday snacks and drinks, either at work, home, parties, or events. As much as it is within your power, try to thwart the problem of eating and drinking rich, sugary items by planning to have alternative snacks and drinks available.
Vegetable and fruit platters make good alternatives to sugar cookies and candy canes. Take carrots, celery, nuts, or other natural foods to work as a healthy substitute for the tray full of fudge that someone at work is bound to bring in and place in a dangerously convenient location.
Avoid alcohol if possible, but especially sugary, sweet concoctions as those, combined with the alcohol, make a dangerous duo that can seriously erode the enamel of your teeth and exploit any weak spots that might be in your mouth.
If you’re going to drink alcohol, opt for a dry red or white wine, if possible. Snacking on cheese while imbibing can help to balance acid levels in your mouth, as opposed to consuming candies, desserts, and such that would add strength to the acidic attack on your teeth.
Don’t neglect flossing and brushing
Brush twice a day and floss before bed. Every morning. Every night. This is the minimum. Make this an everyday routine and never deviate from it. Brushing should take a minimum of two minutes. Hum a little tune while you brush to time it, or use a modern, electronic toothbrush that times itself.
Holiday foods tend to be high in sugar and processed products. This in turn raises acidic levels in the mouth that bacteria feed on and gain strength from. With increased holiday bacterial robustness, your teeth can fall victim to cavities and gum disease that they otherwise would have resisted.
Make a carry-along packet with a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. Take it with you to work or to parties and use it to increase your chances of winning the battle against the holiday tooth decay.
Rinse your mouth often with a water chaser
Rinsing your mouth after consuming alcohol, a sugary drink, coffee, or soft drinks is one of the best ways that you can prevent tooth decay and gum disease. When you drink that delicious beverage and bask in its yumminess, just remember to make a quick trip to a washroom or grab a bottle of water for a quick rinse.
That wonderful, tasty drink was great, but it left a coating of sugars and bacteria energizing chemicals all over the surface of your teeth. A couple of quick swishes and rinses of clean water can save you hours in a dentist chair later.
Plan a post-holiday dental visit
Take a few minutes to call your dentist or go online and make an appointment for early in January to get a cleaning and check up after the decadent month of December.
What might be a small problem in January could turn into a painful, big problem by March. It’s much better to get things checked and cleaned right after the last of the seasonal excesses to ensure that the New Year will get started out with a clean bill of dental health.
Enjoy a Healthy and Problem-free Smile this Holiday Season!
At Prevent Dental Suite, we are always ready to take care of any dental emergencies at any time of the year, but it is our sincere desire to keep your mouth healthy and pain free over the long-term relationship that we hope to have with all of our patients and their families.
We use the most modern technology and the latest techniques available. You will receive the best and safest treatment possible.
Any questions? Call us today at (07) 3886 2428 or book an appointment online, and receive a complimentary Invisalign consultation for orthodontic treatment.
If you’re a new patient, we offer a discounted checkup (only $199), which includes a comprehensive examination and cleaning, including 2 x-rays and fluoride treatment.
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