Healthy Holiday Teeth

Posted on Nov 12 2013 - 10:34am by Dr. Riley


The holidays are a wonderful time of friends, family, food, and fun.  They are a time of parties and fabulous outfits, and you do not want to be the one person on Facebook (Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) with yellow teeth or a sad smile.   If you’re dreaming of more than a white Christmas this holiday season, follow these tips for a whiter, brighter smile.

1)   Go easy on the red!  Cabernet, merlot, burgundy, oh my!  Wine is fine, but can wreak havoc on your smile!  Stick to white, or keep your waistline happy by reaching for a glass of water.  If you simply can’t pass on the pinot noir, swish your mouth out with water in-between drinks to help keep the level of staining to a minimum.

2)   While cookies, cupcakes, and sweets are fabulous, they are super sugary and can wear on the enamel and overall health of your teeth.  Sticking to fruits and veggies will keep your teeth stronger and keep your body healthier.  Also, foods that require you to chew a lot act as a natural exfoliate and can help keep your teeth fresh in-between brushings.

3)   Frosty the Snowman may have enjoyed a corncob pipe, but that doesn’t mean you should.  Even if you are just a social smoker, skip out on the cigarettes and New Year’s cigars to prevent teeth from yellowing.

4) No matter how tiny your clutch purse is, slip a tiny travel tooth brush inside to keep your lip gloss and phone company.  Find one that is half the size of a regular toothbrush, with a cap that can be removed and snapped on to create a handle and tuck it into your bag/pocket/cleavage before you slip off for a night of holiday cheer.  This way, if you still can’t kick your red wine habit, or the water-swishing method isn’t quite cutting it for you, you can quickly brush when you slip off to the powder room!

5)   No matter how late you sweep in from a night of soirees, do not skip out on brushing your teeth!  In the same way that you take your makeup off before going to bed, make sure you brush so your face and your smile will be bright in the morning (and ready for another evening of fabulous holiday fun)!

6) Life can be crazy.  There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done and the holidays seem to put us into some sort of time warp where there is at least twice as much on the average To-Do list and only half the time in which to cross everything off.  Even though time seems to speed up during the holidays, don’t ever forget to floss at least once a day.  Flossing releases the bacteria that builds up in-between your teeth and keeps your whole mouth healthier and your teeth easier to whiten.

7)   As fun as holiday parties are, make sure to take some time to detox.  Use home remedies like brushing with baking soda or swishing with water and hydrogen peroxide or use a home whitening kit to keep your teeth bright and white and healthy.

Following these tips will improve the overall health of your teeth at the least forgiving (for our bodies) time of the year!  Make small changes in your daily life concerning the car of your teeth and by the time the holidays roll around, you’ll already have a chopper-healthy routine in place!

Photo Credit: Flickr/Pete Simon

About the Author

Dr. Riley is a Cosmetic Dentist located in Columbia, MO. Dr. Riley has served on the Delta Dental Board of Directors, The Missouri Dental Board (as president for two terms) and as president of the Columbia Dental Society.