The holiday season is exciting for children as well as adults. It’s that time of the year when families take a break from their mundane routines and spend quality time together. And when that happens, there is bound to be a lot of food on the table. While it’s all fun and games, there is no denying that holidays contribute to some very bad dental habits.
So what happens during the holidays? How do we pick these habits without a second thought? Let’s take a look at some of the holiday factors that contribute to bad oral health in adults.
During the holidays, everyone develops a sweet tooth even if they’ve been fairly healthy all year round. With a host of sugary goodies and store-bought candies doing the rounds, adults get into the habit of snacking on them regularly. Between the fruity cakes and store-bought candies, the amount of sugar one consumes without rinsing their mouth or brushing their teeth is enough for strong plaque buildup.
Without keeping a watch on the number of sweets you consume during this time, you will soon develop tooth decay. So the next time your hand reaches towards that cookie jar on the table, make sure you stop yourself or consume limited amounts.
Limiting sweets alone won’t help. Holiday seasons also introduce another habit that you don’t normally do – snacking. With all the catching up, conversations, movie nights and games, snacking becomes an endless activity. Eating throughout the day without rinsing your mouth will cause bacterial buildup on your teeth that will eventually lead to decay and even inflammation.
Holidays are also all about moving around. With so much traveling, meeting people, visiting places and hitting the bed at odd times, you will be thrown off your daily routine. People often give up on brushing and flossing before bedtime, and after eating and drinking throughout the day.
Common Dental Issues During The Holiday Season
Dental problems can start at any time, but more so after the holiday season. After a month of messed up routines and bad diets, your teeth, as well as your body, will have taken the toll.
Gum diseases are very common after the holiday season, especially among adults. This usually begins as gingivitis, with swollen and tender gums that bleed sometimes. Gum diseases can advance very quickly and lead to tooth loss.
Most people encounter cavities from a very young age. Cavity formation is a gradual process that takes time. It usually starts as plaque buildup that eats into the teeth’s enamel. As mentioned before, food habits during the holidays can increase plaque buildup, which can eventually lead to cavities. Adults can opt to get fillings to close these cavities. However, recurrent decay can occur, where cavities are again formed around the fillings, which requires immediate care and attention.
To avoid recurrent decay, using a toothpaste that contains fluoride can help to some extent. Coupled with flossing, fluoride can stop cavity formations in your teeth.
Tooth sensitivity is also an issue that is often seen as one ages. With time, your gums recede, exposing areas of the teeth that are not protected by enamel. When these areas come in contact with hot, cold or strongly flavored foods, you may experience sensitivity in your teeth. Food habits during the holiday season, such as continuous snacking, may increase your teeth sensitivity as they are constantly exposed to different foods and temperatures. While anti-sensitivity toothpaste can help to some level, if the issue persists, it is advised to visit your dentist and get it checked immediately.
Colored foods such as soda, candies, and caffeine consumed during the holidays can also lead to teeth staining. You can either opt for whitening toothpastes or get a professional teeth whitening treatment done from your dentist in Dubai to remove the stubborn stains on your teeth.
Ways to maintain dental health
With everything said and done, how can you ensure that you are following good dental habits even during the holiday season? Here is what you can do:
What many people fail to understand is that sugar is not just present in sweets. They are added to breads, spreads and many other processed foods that are not sweet in taste. Keep track of your sugar intake by limiting the consumption of processed food, tea, and caffeine throughout the day. Controlling your sugar consumption is necessary not only for your teeth but also for your overall health.
While this may prove tough, as an adult you should consider eating foods that are good for your body. Most fruits and vegetables are required for a healthy body, and so are dairy products unless you are intolerant to them. Lean meat products such as chicken, fish, and turkey are also fine but stay away from too many beef jerkies and other red meat food items. Dark chocolate and gingerbread cookies have less sugar in them and are therefore not as harmful as other sweets, although they do still contain sugar.
With the constant snacking throughout the day, your mouth tends to dry up and not produce enough saliva to clean your teeth. By drinking water along with your meals and otherwise, you are essentially removing food particles stuck to your teeth. Water also hydrates your body and keeps your mouth from going dry.
Drinking water throughout the day will also keep you full, which in turn helps reduce snacking.
After eating something, make it a habit to go and rinse your mouth to remove any food particles stuck to your teeth and within your mouth. You can also try brushing your teeth after every meal so that your teeth are in top condition throughout the day. If you are traveling, do not forget to pack an extra toothbrush or floss.
Mouthwash is also a very helpful product to keep your mouth clean. You can use a mouthwash to take care of your teeth in between your meals.
Schedule a dental appointment just after the holiday season for a routine dental checkup. Get an idea about your dental health and the things you need to take care of once you are back to your routine.
Once the holiday season ends, ensure that you diligently follow these 5 dental care rules:
As you grow older, your dental profile will keep changing. You may face issues even after following good oral care practices. To avoid complications and to retain your teeth, it is essential to maintain your dental care routine, during the holidays or otherwise. Visit our expert dentists in Dubai who can guide you through maintaining good oral health.