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Give Your Teeth the Gift of a Gentle Dental Holiday

Christmas Walnuts

As we get closer to the holidays, thoughts turn to all the great memories and traditions of the season, including all of those great things to eat.

Whether family made treats, those seasonal favorites (or just dealing with a little holiday stress), good chewing choices are important as we make this a December to remember.

Nuts and other hard foods

While walnuts and other shells treats are a favorite this time of year (and the protein within helps to keep muscles and bones strong), let the time-honored Nutcracker keep its job. Don't test how strong your teeth are by cracking down on unshelled nuts. The hard-shelled surfaces of nuts can cause major gum and tooth damage by biting down on them, so it's best to shell nuts first as a safe bet before attempting to enjoy this festive snack.

Chewy treats lead to a sticky situation

Who doesn't love something a little sweet this time of year? That said, delectable treats such as fruitcakes and those platters of holiday candies are loaded with sticky treats that can cling to your teeth's enamel and do long term damage such as tooth decay. Other thick and gooey candies such as caramel and taffy can even be strong enough to yank out fillings if they get stuck. That's not to say that you can't enjoy a few pieces. Just eat them sparingly, or along other foods to keep them from getting stuck.

Avoid hard foods as well

While chewy candies can be tricky, hard candies cause just as many problems. Hard candy (or even food items like ice that can cause discomfort for healthy teeth) can cause chipped or cracked or chipped teeth, and no one wants to spend holiday money on dental repairs. So, whether sipping on an icy cocktail or eating another candy cane, use caution to keep teeth safe and in good shape.

Food isn't the only holiday culprit in causing dental problems. There are other situations to keep in mind:

Don't open packages and bottles with your teeth

Teeth are definitely durable and can chew through some hard items, but don't let enthusiasm override common sense. o matter how exciting your gift may be, there's no reason to rip through a package with your teeth (and try explaining the bite marks if you find yourself at the returns department later), and there is no reason to open any bottle with your teeth, as that can lead to cracked teeth and possibly a root canal. Scissors and bottle openers are definitely the better ways to go.

Keep calm and respect your fingernails

Sure, the holidays are stressful, but "fingernails" are not considered a holiday food, so don't start biting them. Nail biting is bad for both fingernails and teeth, causing symptoms such as clenching, facial pain, jaw problems, sensitivity, and teeth grinding. Find a distraction (or even something bitter to coat your fingers) to keep your mind off of literally chomping at the bit. Celebrate a healthy smile this holiday season by making an appointment with Cabrillo Family Dental Care in Pacifica California today. With great hours (including being open the first and fourth Saturdays of the month), great service comes with either a click ( or a call ((650) 359-1646) away.