Do you have travel plans this month? Maybe you’re escaping for a quiet weekend at a cabin by the lake, or perhaps you’re heading across the country to see your relatives. In any case, you should never let your winter adventures put a damper on your smile’s well-being. Here are a few travel tips from your Colorado Springs dentist to keep your teeth in great shape throughout this festive, busy season.
Be Careful with Hard, Sticky, and Sweet Treats
This time of year, temptation is everywhere. Whether it’s that sugar-loaded hot cocoa with extra marshmallows or that crunchy candy cane, you might find yourself reaching for treats that can damage your teeth. Try to:
- Avoid hard candies, such candy canes. Not only are they full of sugar, but biting on them can break your teeth.
- Rinse your mouth with water after you enjoy a sugary drink or any other sweet treat. Doing so will decrease the risk of tooth decay.
- Pack healthy snacks to keep you going during your travels. Remember, though, that if you’re munching on nuts, don’t crack the shells with your teeth.
Don’t Neglect Oral Hygiene
Traveling is exhausting, so it might be difficult for you to work up the energy to properly clean your teeth each night. However, neglecting brushing before you go to bed allows plaque to linger on your teeth all night. The result can be bad breath and an increased risk of decay. Flossing is also vital, especially at this time of year. Many wintertime treats, like sticky candy and starchy goodies, can easily get lodged between the teeth. Removing those bits of food can help you protect your teeth from decay.
Manage Your Stress
Visiting family members, cooking big meals, and holiday shopping might leave you feeling frazzled. Your stress may cause you to do things that can damage your smile, such as grinding your teeth or biting your nails. If you find yourself doing either of those things, force yourself to stop, and then take a bit of time to unwind. A relaxing bath, a nap, or an hour by the fireplace with a good book may help you bring down your stress levels so you can enjoy all of the pleasant things that this season has to offer.
Know Who to Call in a Dental Emergency
If you find yourself struggling a severe toothache, a broken tooth, or other dental emergency while you’re traveling, the first thing you should do is call your dentist. Even if you can’t visit them right away, they can advise you on your next steps. They may tell you to see a dentist in the area where you’re traveling, or they may coach you on how manage your symptoms until you return home and can come into their office for an appointment.
This time of year poses risks to your dental health, especially if you’re traveling. Use the above tips to protect your smile this winter so you and your teeth can get through the season unscathed.
About the Author
Dr. Erick Anderson is an experienced general, restorative, and cosmetic dentist who is proud to serve the Colorado Springs community. If you are concerned about your oral health and would like to learn more about how to protect it during your winter travels, contact our office at 719-593-0988.