The holidays are a time when people eat and drink a lot of different foods. Big feasts can be a lot of fun, but they can also stain your teeth. Knowing what you can do to prevent your teeth from becoming stained during holiday feasts can protect your teeth and your beautiful smile. These tips will help.
Brush Your Teeth Before Meals
Food particles left on your teeth will attract more food particles at the next meal. Brushing your teeth before holiday dinners can make the surface of your teeth more smooth, which in turn can help your teeth stay clean and stain free.
If you're having a big meal at your own house, brushing your teeth before a meal should be easy. If you're planning to go to someone else's house for a holiday meal, bring a toothbrush and toothpaste in your bag or purse.
If you're not comfortable brushing your teeth at someone else's house, chew sugarless gum before eating. Chewing gum helps to clean the teeth, and it's better than nothing.
Avoid Foods and Drinks Stain Teeth
Some foods and drinks stain teeth more than others. Holiday foods and drinks that produce the darkest stains include:
- Red wine
- White wine
- Berry pies
- Cranberry sauce
If you're not sure whether or not a food will stain your teeth, remember that acidic foods can etch microscopic holes in your tooth enamel, which can contribute to the staining effect (this is why white wine can stain your teeth). In addition, most foods that are dark red, dark purple, or dark brown will stain your teeth. Beets, pomegranates, and soda are among these foods.
Eat Crunchy Vegetables, Nuts, and Hard Cheeses
Crunchy vegetables, hard cheeses, and nuts are a common pre-meal snack served around the holidays. Chow down on hard, crunchy vegetables and nuts because they can help clean and strengthen your teeth before a big meal. This is especially important if you're at someone's home without gum or a toothbrush.
Cheeses help plug the microscopic holes in your tooth enamel, which prevents your teeth from absorbing staining foods while you eat. Hard cheeses are more effective for tooth protection than soft cheeses.
Wash Food Down With Sparkling Water
Sparkling water helps cleanse your palate while you're eating. Drink sparkling water between bites to help wash staining foods and drinks from your teeth.
Use Tooth Wipes
Tooth wipes are a product that can be used to clean your teeth after drinking red wine. Carry tooth wipes in a pocket, purse, or bag, and bring them with you to holiday celebrations. Use tooth wipes if you can't chew gum or brush your teeth after drinking red wine.
Pick Up Tooth Whitening Tooth Paste
Tooth-whitening toothpastes are more abrasive, so they can scrub your teeth more thoroughly than some other types of toothpaste. Pick up tooth-whitening toothpaste at the start of the holiday season to help protect your teeth from stains and other problems.
See the Dentist Before the Holidays
Seeing the dentist before the holidays can help ensure that your teeth are clean, polished, and ready to resist stains. If you're planning to eat and drink a lot of foods that stain your teeth as a part of your holiday celebration, schedule a follow-up visit to the dentist for tooth whitening services. Tooth whitening can whiten your tooth enamel by several shades after the holidays are over.
Contact Your Dentist for More Information
Your dentist can help you take care of your teeth over the holidays. If you have more questions about how to care for your teeth, contact your dentist at Steckbeck Family Dentistry.