The holidays are one of the busiest times of the year. There are presents to buy. Decorations to put up. Meals to plan. Parties to attend. Many of these activities can be fun, but that doesn’t necessarily make them less stressful – or distracting.
It’s easy to let healthy habits slip, and we’re not just talking about eating right. For healthy teeth, you need to prioritize dental care even during these over-stuffed days. Here are ways to help you manage your time – and your oral health – during the busy holiday season.
Stick With Your Routine
If you’re already brushing your teeth morning and night, don’t give up your routine, no matter how busy you get. Those two minutes of brushing twice a day are the most effective way to keep oral health problems from forming.
Put Self-Care on Your To-Do List
Okay, you’re thinking. “Sticking to it” sounds nice, but how? There are too many other things to do! What if you forget?
Don’t let that be an excuse. If you find yourself distracted and ignoring self-care, actually put it on your schedule or to-do list.
That way you won’t forget it and you’ve already built time in for it. If it helps, you can pair it with other activities like a hot bath. You’ll be happier and healthier when you care for yourself, and others around you will notice too.
If your health is suffering because you’re too busy running errands, let online retailers take a load off. You can order not only gifts, but also essentials like toothpaste and electric toothbrushes online and have them delivered right to your door. This will save you time and reduce your stress this holiday season.
It may seem more efficient to try to do multiple things at once, but research has shown that our brains work best when they are focused on a single task. Do one thing at a time, and you just may accomplish more on your to-do list.
It’s easy to forget about drinking water while you wrap gifts, bake cookies, and decorate the house, but it’s vital that you try. Staying hydrated is not only important for your overall health, it also helps maintain oral health by keeping your saliva production up, which protects your teeth from cavities. Just as important, it can also wash away sugary residue.
Be smart and keep a water bottle by your side during the holiday season. Drink water instead of juice or soda to cut your sugar intake. Your teeth will be healthier, and the rest of your body will experience benefits as well.
Bring Your Toothbrush Along
After big feasts with family and friends, it’s important not to allow bacteria and food to sit on your teeth for hours on end. That’s exactly when problems can start, because cavities develop when brushing isn’t maintained. Always brush your teeth after a big meal if possible.
As a nice bonus, this can also serve as a bit of a time-saving measure (and a way to help you remember) because you can just step away from the gathering for a few moments to take care of your teeth instead of hoping you find time later.
Use Your Phone for Reminders
If you’re struggling to prioritize your health this season even after scheduling in time and putting it on your to-do list, set reminders on your smartphone to brush and floss your teeth.
Many of us keep our phones with us at all times to stay in touch, but with reminders you can also take advantage of your phone’s power to prod you to action.
Keep Gum in Your Pocket or Purse
As long as you choose sugarless gum, you can use it to help remove food from your teeth after a meal. You still need to brush at least twice a day, but gum is a decent substitute if you are too busy to stop and brush right away.
Make an Appointment for a Cleaning
If you’re getting close to your normal dental appointment time, now is the perfect opportunity to reach out and schedule an appointment. Start the new year off right by getting a cleaning and giving your dentist the opportunity to catch any potential problems as early as possible.