Being smart about your smile during the holidays

By Dr. Stephanie McGannDMD FAGD, Columnist, The Times

With the rush of the holidays, it can be easy to forget to maintain good dental health — but bad choices now could lead to problems in the new year.

Here’s a few fairly simple tips to keep you and your family smiling well into 2018:

  1. Don’t let the holidays through off your oral care routine. Take the time to take care of yourself.
  2. Make good choices. We eat and drink lots of things over the holidays that we may stay away from at other times. Holidays are meant for celebrating but remember if you eat that sticky candy, to be sure to brush. Chocolate (without caramel or nougat) is way better for you than bowl of sour patch kids.
  3. Be kind to overnight guests; be sure to have extra toothbrushes and toothpaste on hand in case someone forgets their own.
  4. Stockings are great place for dental care items. That special child may particularly like the princess battery brush.  Others may like the Star Wars themed ones.   Who says brushing can’t be fun.
  5. Thinking of getting a loved one a power brush? Many the new models do a remarkable job. There is even a new device called a water flosser some even come with USB or Wi-Fi apps to monitor the effectiveness of the user.
  6. Beware of candy canes. Many adults rarely eat hard candy yet will jump at the chance to munch on the minty treat.  Some hard candy can damage some dental work, so be cautious when you crunch.
  7. Don’t go nuts with soda. Soda can really be damaging to teeth, follow up with a glass of water if you can.
  8. The elf can be a dental ally. If getting youngsters to brush is a hassle make sure the elf on the shelf takes a trip next to the sink. Kids find it entertaining when the elf makes a mess with the toothpaste.
  9. Don’t put off dental concerns. Nothing can make a holiday more stressful than a toothache or broken tooth.
  10. Be sure your smile is photo-ready. Ask your dentist if a take home whitening kit is right for you.

Have a safe and healthy holiday season.

Dr. Stephanie McGann, who has more than two decades of dental practice experience, is a resident of the Unionville area and along with her partner, Dr. Marie Scott, practice at The Brandywine Smile Center, a family-friendly dental practice in Concordville. Dr. McGann also owns a practice in Valley Township, Rainbow Valley Dental. She is the current President of the Chester/Delaware Dental Society and she is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry.

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