The holidays are a magical time to enjoy with loved ones, but they can be hard on the teeth. Dangerous winter activities often lead to tooth damage, many festive foods increase staining, and you might start the new year wishing you had a better-looking smile.
Follow the tips below to keep your teeth looking bright and healthy this holiday season. Here is what to avoid and how to improve teeth that are already looking a bit worse for wear.
Protect your teeth against chips during holiday activities
Snowball fights are a lot of fun, but they're also risky. Snowballs can quickly harden to become solid ice, which has the ability to chip teeth when thrown with force. Hard rocks and pebbles can also find their way into snowballs, increasing the risk. To stay completely safe, stick to building snowmen, making snow angels on the ground, and sledding. If you can't bear to go without a snowball fight, pick up some safe, indoor snowballs made of soft material.
There's an old tradition of baking coins into festive puddings, with the person who gets the coin slice being blessed with good luck. Unfortunately, this practice comes with a risk of cracking or chipping a tooth by biting down on the hard object — and that won't leave you feeling very lucky! Keep coins in your purse and out of your dessert this year.
Avoid festive foods that stain
Many festive foods are terrible when it comes to staining. Avoid mulled wine made with dark, red wines, and stick to drinks like eggnog instead. Try to limit your intake of sugar, and take care to brush your teeth really thoroughly after indulging in cakes and puddings. Avoid foods like candy canes, which take a long time to eat and leave your teeth coated in sugar. Pick small boiled sweets that can be eaten quickly instead. You can still enjoy plenty of traditional foods like nuts, cheese, meat and vegetables — none of these pose a great risk to your oral health.
Treat yourself to professional whitening
Christmas is a perfect time to treat yourself to a gift, and professional whitening is one that you'll be able to enjoy all year round. Choose laser whitening for the fastest results — you'll be able to show off your shiny new teeth to all your friends and family at festive parties. Your dentist will paint a special bleaching solution onto your teeth, then speed up the whitening process using a laser. You'll be able to see instant results, and if your teeth aren't quite as pearly as you'd like, you can go back for repeat treatments.