You’ve just returned home from a great holiday party, and smiling as you walk by the hallway mirror, you see it – a big green blob is stuck on your front tooth. Why didn’t anyone tell you?
To help you avoid embarrassing dental disasters during this holiday season, here are some tips to help your smile shine as brightly as the Christmas tree.
- Alleviate some of the discoloration of “red wine mouth” by eating a bit of cheese or even drinking water between sips of wine. You should also avoid alternating between white wine with red, which is a definite stain maker.
- Since acids in wine temporarily dissolve a microlayer of tooth, wine drinkers should avoid brushing their teeth immediately after drinking. Since teeth remain in this weakened state for about 20 to 30 minutes, rinsing with water instead of brushing right away will help protect the teeth.
- To avoid getting food stuck in teeth at holiday gatherings, avoid broccoli, spinach, and other “stringy” foods that often lodge themselves between teeth. Sugary sweets are an obvious no-no, but if you must indulge, chocolate is a better option than caramels or lollipops. You may want to carry toothpicks or dental floss in your pocket to use when you visit the restroom.
- Try to avoid chewing hard nuts, hard candy, and unpopped kernels because they make your teeth particularly vulnerable to cracking since they tend to weaken enamel
- Need a cold beverage? Don’t forget that many people habitually chew on ice, which can cause gum injuries and, most frequently, cracked or broken teeth. In addition, never open containers with your teeth because that can put tremendous pressure on teeth and may result in cracking or even breaking teeth.