During the hustle and bustle, yule tide caroling, sugar plums dancing in your head and shopping till you are dropping, it is easy to see how your oral hygiene and overall smile can be the last thing on your mind during the holiday season.  Therefore, Elias Prosthodontics would like to share some dental tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy and your smile bright and pearly white.

     Whether you are consuming coffee, tea, wine or soda, many holiday beverages have the ability to leave surface stains on the teeth.  The rule of thumb is anything that will stain a white t-shirt, will also stain your teeth.  Therefore, sipping these beverages thru a straw is recommended to eliminate the prolonged contact with your teeth.  Choosing a sparkling water is always a great alternative.  Another great tip is always rinsing with H20 after.  Water is not only great for your overall health and body, but also helps to wash away sugars and acids that may lead to the breakdown of the enamel causing decay.

    Chewing sugarless gum is a great option.  Not only is there the fact that there is no sugar which not only helps reduce calorie intake, but it also helps mechanically to remove food particles and surface plaque that attracts stains to teeth.  Chewing sugarless gum will also help to stimulate the saliva glands which in turn helps to fight off harmful bacteria and acids since saliva is mother natures antibacterial for the mouth.

 

     If you are a wine connoisseur, especially red wines, you will love this helpful tip.  By applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly (Vaseline) to your teeth before consuming any teeth staining food or drinks, will help to eliminate staining because it acts as a protective barrier to the teeth.  Ladies, this is also a multi-purpose tip as it will help to eliminate your lipstick sticking to your teeth.  This one is an obvious win-win.

    Switching out your toothbrush.  This is a great time to start the New Year with a new toothbrush.  Leave all the old bacteria and holiday cheer that remained on last years brush and start off fresh.  Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles as hard bristles can actually damage the enamel on the tooth, making your teeth appear more yellow.  Soaking your new toothbrush in hot water, will help to soften the bristles.

    Either gift yourself or ask someone for the gift of whitening toothpaste.  Whitening toothpaste has stronger, more active ingredients that will help to instantly brighten your smile and keep it that way.  It is always recommended that you consult with your dentist or hygienist on what brand they would recommend, as each individual is different.  You will also want to make sure that the brand you are using has a daily fluoride ingredient as well as enamel safe. Many offices also provide 1 hour whitening which is also something you may want to consider.  Again, always consult with your dentist or hygienist for the best individual results.

    Try drinking Vodka instead of wine.  Red wines cause staining on teeth and white wines cause teeth erosion.  However, Vodka not only does not stain teeth, but it also kills odor-causing bacteria to keep your breath fresh.

    Skip the red and white temptation known as the infamous Candy Cane.  As delicious and festive as Candy Canes are, they are known for being horrible for your teeth.  Candy Canes take an extremely long time to dissolve.  Therefore, they remain in contact with your teeth a lot longer than most sweets.  This in return leads to bacteria having a much better chance of attaching to the enamel of the tooth, causing erosion and cavities.  If you must partake in these minty, festive treats, it is recommended to break them into small pieces.  Do not crunch them or chew them. As with all hard candies, they are known to cause fractures or breaks in teeth, leading to expensive and extensive dental treatment.  As always, bushing and flossing immediately is always recommended.

    The saying " Fake it Till You Make It" could not be more true for this teeth whitening tip.  Choosing a lipstick shade, such as a classic red, will help to instantly give the appearance of a whiter, brighter smile.  The reason for this is that the color of the lipstick contrast the whiteness of the tooth and makes your smile appear instantly brighter.  If red is not necessarily your color, make sure that you choose a color that has a cool or blue undertone.

     We at Elias Prosthodontics hope that you enjoyed these holiday tips and that we helped to make your season brighter and whiter, not just today, but everyday!