Good dental health is a big part of overall health and well-being.
The holiday season is going to be different for everyone this year. Even though festivities may be less socially active and more low key than usual, people will still be celebrating and the Ontario Dental Association (ODA) has some helpful tips on how to keep your dental health in check this month.
Stress: This time of year can be hard for some people and with the added strain of pandemic life, it can really take a toll. Dentists have seen a spike in cases of teeth grinding which can lead to headaches, jaw pain, tooth sensitivity and cracked or broken teeth. Your dentist can make you a custom mouth guard to relieve the pressure. Massage, stretching, exercise and other relaxation techniques can also help.
Alcohol: Whether it’s wine, beer, sprits or champagne, alcohol can be tough on your teeth because of carbonation and sugary, acidic mixers like pop, juice or egg nog. Red wine and dark beer can also stain your teeth. Try swishing with water to neutralize the acids and rinse your mouth.
Smoking, vaping and marijuana: If you can’t quit, at least try to cut back because these habits can cause problems like inflammation, dry mouth and stained teeth. Tobacco use can also lead to oral cancer, and THC can weaken your immune system.
Sugar: Hard sweets like candy canes bathe your mouth in sugar and can also crack teeth if you bite down on them. Chewy treats like caramels aren’t just loaded with sugar, they can even rip out fillings, if you’re not careful! Cookies, cakes and other pastries are popular this time of year but it’s not just the sugar to watch out for, residue can get lodged in between teeth. Sugar-free chewing gum can help with that or eating a bit of cheese before sweets can provide a protective, vitamin-rich coating on your teeth.
ODA President, Dr. Lesli Hapak says “The holidays are usually a joyful time but things are different this year because of the pandemic. We should all try our best to be merry while also being mindful of feeling stressed out and being over indulgent with food, alcohol and other habits.”
The ODA has been Ontario’s primary source for dental information since 1867 and represents over 10,000, or 90%, of dentists in the province. For more dental care tips and COVID-19 updates, including what to expect at your next dental appointment, go to www.oda.ca.
About the Ontario Dental Association
The ODA has been the voluntary professional association for dentists in Ontario since 1867. Today, we represent more than 9,000, or nine in 10, dentists across the province. The ODA is Ontario’s primary source of information on oral health and the dental profession. We advocate for accessible and sustainable optimal oral health for all Ontarians by working with health-care professionals, governments, the private sector and the public. For helpful dental care tips, visit www.oda.ca.