Posted .

The holiday season brings many festive activities, but don’t forget to take care of your mouth! Here are some tips to take care of your teeth.

Drink Water: Accompany all sweet dishes and your meals with a large glass of water. This rinses your mouth and clean sugars away from teeth and gum tissue. It also helps keep you full, and contributes greatly to your overall body health.

Beverages: Along with the holidays come many acidic beverages–soft drinks, fruit juice, wassail, punch, and coffee, as well as wine, champagne, and other alcoholic drinks. However, coating your teeth in acid is bad for them. Accompany all acid-containing beverages with a large glass of water. As for alcohol, be aware that it actually contributes to dehydration–so drinking water along with it is a good idea for your overall wellness.

Chewing Gum: After eating or drinking, chew a piece of sugar-free gum for about 20 minutes. This is especially important after eating acidic foods. After you eat, the acids from your food cause your teeth to be much more sensitive to abrasion. Both the act of brushing and toothpaste itself are abrasive to tooth enamel. Therefore, brushing right after eating is not always a good idea (unless directed to do so by your dentist). Chewing gum cleans your teeth in the meantime, by promoting saliva flow.

Get Adequate Sleep: A lack of good sleep can affect your whole body, even your mouth! Too little sleep can lead to biological stress on your body. This can cause you to clench and grind your teeth, whether at night or in the daytime, and can exacerbate existing temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ or TMD).