With more than 40 years of dentistry under his belt, Dr. Hinze has seen it all when it comes to holiday dental dangers. If you want to avoid an emergency trip to the dentist this holiday season, follow these simple guidelines.

Don’t Slack on Dental Hygiene

 With the extra activities, travel and stress that can come with the holiday season, it may be tempting to slack on brushing and flossing.

But Dr. Hinze said the holiday season is the most important time to maintain regular dental hygiene.

“That’s when the candy and cookies and all the wonderful sweets are hard on teeth, so brushing should be a priority,” Dr. Hinze said.

Set a reminder on your phone each morning and night and keep brushing a part of the daily routine during the holidays.

If traveling, don’t forget to pack the toothbrush, floss and toothpaste.

Pass on Hard Candies (and gummies, too)

Candy canes and those delicious hard candies are dangerous in more ways than one. They leave a layer of sugar on the teeth that can quickly turn into decay.

And, biting or trying to chew hard candies can result in a broken tooth. Also, gummy-type candies pose a higher danger for tooth problems.

Fill up on fruits and vegetables at holiday events or parties to limit your sugar cravings.

Rinse With Water If You Must Indulge

If you do have a candy cane or sugary drink, Dr. Hinze recommends rinsing the mouth with water to wash away the acids until you can brush your teeth. And, avoid “grazing” on sugary foods throughout the day.

To illustrate the effects of sugar on teeth, Dr. Hinze tells his youngest patients that sugar can “potty on your teeth and when it does, it makes holes.”

Just thinking about that visual image is enough for kids and adults to stay away from the sugar!

Avoid Using Your Teeth as A Tool

It may be tempting to use your teeth as a tool for wrapping or unwrapping presents or cracking open food, but that can often result in a dental emergency.

Reach for the scissors, knives and other tools, and save your teeth for eating.

Let the Elf Help

Dr. Hinze said families who have an Elf on Shelf may encourage the Elf to monitor toothbrushing for Santa. 

“Maybe the Elf could be stationed in the bathroom a few times,” Dr. Hinze said.

We hope you follow these simple tips to avoid dental problems during the holidays. We’d like to wish all of our patients a holiday season that is safe, healthy and pain-free.  However, if you do experience any dental problems, we are here to help. Please give us a call at 995-5331 to schedule an appointment.