The holiday season is one of the most social times of the year. From professional functions to parties and dinners with friends and family, your smile is usually at its most visible when the holiday season rolls around.
But one of the downsides of enjoying your favorite food and drinks is the danger of developing bad breath. And if you have underlying general or oral health issues like gum disease or dry mouth, the risk of bad breath is even greater.
They know that if you tend to overindulge in your favorite drinks and snacks during the holidays, it can take a toll on your teeth — and lead to bad breath. But bad breath isn’t inevitable. You can safely enjoy your favorite holiday snacks and traditions without feeling self-conscious about your breath.
Here are seven ways to prevent bad breath from ruining your good time during the holidays:
If you haven’t been brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once, the holiday season is the perfect time to start a new healthy habit. Hint: the time of day when you floss doesn’t matter, so if you struggle to floss at night, try incorporating it into your morning routine.
Plaque- and tartar-causing bacteria is the main culprit for bad breath, so giving your teeth and gums adequate TLC is one of the best things you can do to keep your breath fresh and clean at your next holiday party and throughout the year.
Dehydration can lead to a dry mouth and less saliva production, which is the mouth’s natural defense system against bad breath bacteria and food buildup. Drink water to keep your teeth clean and your breath fresh when you can’t brush your teeth.
Smoking is terrible for your breath on its own, but it also dries out your mouth and increases your risk of oral and general health problems. If you need an excuse to quit smoking, the holidays and the new year are the best time to get help if you need it and to stay motivated.
Eating certain foods like apples, broccoli, carrots, and celery keep you hydrated and keep the saliva flowing, while helping to keep your teeth free of bad breath-causing bacteria.
Like tobacco, alcohol is a leading cause of dehydration and bad breath. Alternate alcoholic drinks with water so you can enjoy yourself while also staying hydrated and keeping your breath fresh.
Travel kits are the perfect size to fit in a purse or even a coat pocket, so don’t be afraid to slip away from a party to freshen up your breath the old-fashioned way, by brushing your teeth after a meal or a few drinks.
Gingivitis is another bad breath culprit. If it’s been more than six months since your last visit to the dentist or you’ve noticed signs of gum disease — like bleeding and swollen gums, tooth sensitivity, or unexplained bad breath — schedule an appointment. We’ll make sure that you’re heading into the holiday season with healthy teeth and gums.
The holidays are the perfect time to schedule a checkup and dental cleaning. For more information about the general and cosmetic dentistry services available at our office in Asheville, North Carolina, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists.