Winter is a time for enjoying the company of friends and family, playing games, having fun, and eating good food. Unfortunately, many winter traditions come with a risk of tooth damage, which can really put a damper on things. Nobody wants to spend their days searching for a local emergency dentist.
Follow the tips below to avoid damage to your teeth during winter without missing out on any fun.
Avoid snowball fights
While snowball fights can be exciting, they also come with a big risk of tooth damage. Snowballs which are formed and then left for a while can quickly become hard, solid ice, which is capable of chipping or knocking out teeth when thrown with force. Pieces of dirt or stone may also be scooped unknowingly into snowballs, increasing the risk of damage to your mouth, teeth and gums.
Stick to building snowmen and making snow angels to avoid tooth damage. If you or your kids are desperate for a snowball fight, buy some soft fabric balls to play with indoors instead — these have the added bonus of being available even when it's not cold.
Watch what you eat and drink
Everyone enjoys indulging in good food and drink during the winter, but too many treats can damage your teeth. To avoid staining, limit your consumption of dark-coloured drinks like red wine and coffee, and avoid too much citrus. Hard candies are a common cause of chipped teeth and take so long to eat that they cover your teeth in enamel-damaging sugar. Pick soft candies or chocolates instead.
Don't deny yourself all treats, though — most foods are fine in moderation as long as you clean your teeth thoroughly afterwards. If you enjoy snacking, try to stick to foods like cheese and nuts, as these don't contain too much sugar and won't lead to tooth decay.
Don't bake a penny in your pudding
There's an old tradition of baking a penny into pudding, with the idea being that whoever gets the slice with the coin receives good luck. Unfortunately, biting down unexpectedly onto a hard metal coin is a really common way to damage your mouth — there's nothing lucky about a chipped tooth. Break with this tradition and look for alternatives instead. For example, pass around a bag of coins, with one being gold, and let all your guests pick one.
Making a few simple changes to your winter activities should keep your teeth in great condition. If you get unlucky and damage a tooth anyway, then be sure to visit a dental clinic as soon as possible. Treating dental problems as soon as they occur will prevent them from becoming more serious.