A few things probably come to mind when you think of Christmas time - having the kiddos home for school holidays, the stress of last-minute Christmas shopping, and enjoying much needed time with the whole family just to name a few. Cracking your tooth on a hard piece of food or losing a tooth from getting hit in the mouth probably doesn't come to mind, but did you know that Christmas time is one of the worst times of year for dental emergencies?
Read on to learn some ways you can minimise the risk of needing a trip to the emergency dentist during the silly season!
It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye... or a tooth!
If your kids are going to participate in some contact sports over the holiday period, it's a good idea to get them fitted for a custom mouthguard to protect their teeth against knocks and other injuries that can lead to teeth falling out.
Learn more about Maven Dental's Custom-Made Mouthguards.
Just because it's the holidays, it doesn’t mean its ok to forget about our oral hygiene routine - Especially during a time where we're enjoying more food and drink that can be detrimental to our teeth!
Make sure you brush twice a day (and don't skimp out on flossing!). It never hurts to brush additionally throughout the day, especially if you've had some extra sugary treats. Another good practice is drinking water after meals and snacks. Not only will this help you keep hydrated, but it will also help to rinse out your mouth and remove excess debris, sugar, and acids from your teeth.
Think twice before you go to use your teeth to open that package, bottle cap, or sticky tape!
It can be tempting to quickly use your teeth to rip open packaging when you're busy and caught up in the excitement of the holidays. Maybe you're in a hurry to get lunch on the table or finish wrapping gifts and don't have scissors handy - resist the urge to use your teeth and reach for a pair of scissors instead!
Doing so also sets a good example for the kids, as they're likely to imitate you using your teeth to open things if they see it - and there is nothing worse than a nasty dental injury during an exciting time like opening gifts!
Christmas time calls for celebrating, and for many of us that includes a couple of drinks, but when consumed in excess, alcohol can increase your risk of a trip or fall (followed by a trip to the emergency dentist). Not only that, but some alcohols can stain your teeth (looking at you, red wine), and excessive alcohol consumption has been shown to be a risk factor for other oral health issues including oral cancer and gum disease.
We recommend enjoying your favourite alcoholic beverages in moderation this Christmas and drink water at the same time to rinse away any acids left on the teeth, as well as wash away any food particles left behind.
The humble candy cane is one of the most iconic symbols of Christmas, but they're also a common culprit for cracking teeth when bitten into. Candy canes and other hard candies should be eaten carefully, and ideally sucked rather than bitten down on. This is especially important for your little ones, who might be tempted to chomp down on their treats (and damage a tooth or their gums in the process).
Other iconic Christmas snacks are hard and can crack teeth if not eaten carefully, and should be enjoyed with caution, including:
It's not all bad news though - there are plenty of festive favourites that are less likely to damage your teeth that you might find on your menu, including:
Roast vegetables & meat (be careful of any bones!)
Whilst we know there are plenty of things you'd rather be thinking about during the holiday season, being aware of what to do in the event of a dental emergency is important. Whilst professional dental treatment should be received as soon as possible, being able to act quick at home can help relieve pain and increase your chance of saving damaged teeth.
If you're experiencing any of the following, seek attention from an emergency dentist as soon as possible:
Not feeling too confident that you'd know what to do in the event of a dental emergency? Brush up on your knowledge of what to do in a dental emergency.
If you're experiencing a dental emergency during the holidays, it's important to contact your dentist as soon as possible.