Thanksgiving is a lot of fun! You get to spend time with your family and friends, watch a Football game and—of course—eat lots of amazing food. With that said, it’s important to keep an eye on what you’re eating and your overall oral health during Turkey Day and all the days that surround it.
Thanksgiving is no excuse to give up on your oral health habits. It’s easy to slack off while on holiday and do the bare minimum. This, in turn, can lead to ongoing poor oral health habits. Make sure you keep your routine in place, even while you are on vacation.
Below are a few easy tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy while you are on Thanksgiving vacation:
Pack properly. “Oops! I forgot my toothbrush,” shouldn’t be in your vocabulary. Make sure that you pack properly for your Thanksgiving vacation. This means packing your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash.
Brush and floss regularly. Just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean you can stop brushing your teeth. First of all, that’s gross. Second, bacteria doesn’t take a vacation. Make sure you brush and floss regularly—even while you are on vacation. Your teeth and gums will thank you.
Avoid unhealthy foods. Here’s the hard part…I know it’s easy to take it easy on vacation and allow yourself to eat more than you usually do and the types of foods you don’t usually eat. Do yourself a favor and don’t let Thanksgiving be an excuse for backsliding on your healthy eating habits. This means avoiding sweets, tons of carbohydrates, and other things that will pack plaque on your teeth. Also make sure you are eating balanced meals, so you are getting the vitamins you need to keep your gums healthy. In order to cut back on the amount of food you are eating, avoid grazing. Only eat when you sit down to a meal.
Thanksgiving is a lot of fun, and there will be lots of amazing foods to eat. With that said, be cautious of what you eat, and keep taking good care of your oral health. Brush your teeth, floss, and rinse regularly. In order to do this, put together a list for packing. This way, you won’t miss anything.
Not to scare you too much, but not taking care of your oral health has some major consequences. Even a short period of time can lead to plaque buildup and the formation of bad habits. These bad habits can follow you past the holidays, and they may lead to you ending up in a dentist’s chair to have a deep cleaning or worse.
Below are a couple of common oral health issues that poor oral health can lead to.
Gum disease is one of the most common oral health issues people face. Gingivitis (a form of gum disease) is caused by a buildup of tartar and plaque that leads to inflammation of the gums. Gingivitis is serious, and it can cause bleeding gums, discomfort, and more. Beyond being frustrating, gingivitis can lead to an even worse form of gum disease. Once gingivitis gets bad enough, it can develop into periodontitis. This advanced form of gum disease poses a serious risk to your teeth and your overall oral health. It’s also much more difficult to reverse than gingivitis.
For the sake of your gums and your teeth, make sure you keep up with your oral health routines.
Tooth decay happens when plaque and eventually tartar forms on your teeth and starts causing damage. Over time, your teeth develop cavities, which in turn can lead to pain, discomfort, and even the loss of a tooth or teeth. Tooth decay is caused by poor oral health and eating habits. Too many sweets and carbohydrates lead to more plaque on your teeth. When you combine that with not brushing, flossing, and rinsing twice a day every day, you have the recipe for a hole in your tooth. From there, the hole needs to be addressed and filled before it gets worse.
If your tooth decay gets bad enough, you may need to undergo root canal treatment. This is not a fun procedure. Root canal treatment is required when the pulp of your tooth becomes infected. This is a more advanced procedure than a filling and can be costly depending on the severity of the issue.
The good news is tooth decay is actually pretty easy to avoid. By brushing, flossing, and rinsing twice a day you will get rid of most or all of the plaque forming on your teeth. Your twice-a-year checkup and cleaning will allow your dentist to address any other plaque that has formed. They are also able to catch any cavities that may be forming and address them early on before they develop to the point where a significant portion of the tooth is damaged.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
It’s important to visit your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. If it’s around the holidays, there’s a chance that your regularly scheduled appointment may be coming up. If you don’t have one in the books, make sure you schedule your appointment ahead of time.
Remember: not going to the dentist regularly means your dentist doesn’t have a chance to check out your oral health and perform a routine cleaning. This may end up with you needing a deep cleaning or a filling if a cavity forms. You may even end up needing a root canal treatment procedure or worse—a full or partial tooth replacement. It’s better to avoid these risks and see your dentist a couple of times a year.
Contact Nova Dental today to schedule a cleaning and checkup. We look forward to taking care of your teeth and gums over the holiday season.