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Keep Smiling This Holiday

With the holidays right around the corner, your list of “things to do” might be just getting bigger, rather than smaller. Between parties, family gatherings and shopping lists, taking care of our bodies can easily fall to the bottom of that list.This holiday season, help keep your smile sparkling and your body healthy with these tips:

Protect Your Teeth

  • Avoid chewy or crunchy treats: They can lead to certain destruction for braces, not to mention increasing the risk for tooth decay and yanked-out fillings.
  • Don’t use your teeth like tools: They’re not really the best option for cutting tape, pulling off tags or cracking pistachio shells.
  • Combat the stress: It can take a toll your mouth via cold sores, jaw clenching and teeth-grinding. Combat it by getting plenty of sleep, staying hydrated and taking time to relax.
  • Be prepared: Pack dental floss, a toothbrush, toothpaste, wax and a retainer case for late-night parties and holiday traveling.
  • Drink plenty of water: Water will help keep the saliva flowing, keep you hydrated and wash away plaque, sugar and food particles.

Brush the Germs Away

  • Brush and floss — at least twice a day for two minutes: Plaque build-up contains bacteria that can compromise your teeth and gums, making you more susceptible to the flu and other illnesses. Got braces? Brush 4 times each day and pay special attention to your brackets and gumline.
  • Wash your hands: Remember, our mouth is a portal to the rest of our body. Use warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds to help keep those germs out.
  • Take care of that toothbrush: Keep it away from other toothbrushes (germs travel!) and replace it every 3-4 months. If you get sick, get a new one when you’re better.

Find the Good Food

  • Turkey: Great source of protein and high in phosphorous, which helps create strong teeth and bones.
  • Mashed or sweet potatoes: Perfect mix of vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. And, they don’t stick to your teeth — which is great for those with braces and orthodontic appliances.
  • Vegetables: A great source of key vitamins, nutrients and fiber. The vitamins build strong teeth and bones, plus help prevent oral cancer. Fiber stimulates saliva flow, which is a natural defense against cavities.
  • Cranberries: They contain flavonoids which help stop bacteria from sticking to teeth and forming dental plaque.
  • Pumpkin: Good source of vitamins A and C, zinc and magnesium. Zinc deficiency is linked to poor dental health and weak bones. Magnesium helps build enamel to protect teeth.

Associated Orthodontists offers complimentary consultations at all locations – Joliet, Plainfield, Morris, New Lenox, Frankfort and Bourbonnais. Click here to schedule an appointment, or call a location near you. For more information on locations and services, visit

Related Articles and Tips:

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Brush Off the Flu

Five Tips to Avoid Dental Distress Over the Holidays

When is the Time Right for Your Child’s First Orthodontic Visit?

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