On the 12th day of Christmas, CNS Dental gave to me…12 handy dandy health tips!

From teeth to digestion and beyond, our health can take a nosedive during the holiday season. Especially this year, when holiday traditions are taking on a new look, it’s important to make both your dental AND total health a priority.

Our team at CNS Dental gathered together (socially distanced of course) to create a list of our top 12 ways to keep your health in check, and keep you smiling through the New Year.

1. Plan Ahead

Your budget and your time deserve some planning. To ensure your gift and time-giving doesn’t break your bank or your spirit, take some time to plan everything out. Write out a list of what you want to give to whom, calculate your ideal holiday budget, and stick to it throughout the season. Look at your calendar and get a “big-picture” idea of logistically how much time you can offer up for various holiday events and activities.

2. Don’t Be Afraid To Say “No”

We get it. You don’t want to disappoint any of your family and friends during the holiday season – so you try to attend every event, Zoom meeting, and activity you are invited to. That can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Learn to say “no” when you need to, be brave when saying it, and feel absolutely zero guilt about it.

3. Don’t Brush Immediately After The Bubbly 

Champagne and other sparkling drinks are a common feature of the holiday season. Sparkling beverages are both sugary and acidic, which can damage tooth enamel. If you’re enjoying a glass of your favorite sparkling drink, make sure you wait a minimum of an hour before brushing your teeth to minimize the damage. If you brush right after drinking, your teeth are at their weakest and most sensitive, and brushing would only make it worse.

4. Sing Your Favorite Songs As You Clean

Tis’ the season for caroling! Most people do not brush their teeth for the recommended two-minute timeframe, but if you hum your favorite Christmas classics while brushing, you’ll be more likely to hit that two-minute target — and it’ll be more festive!

5. Don’t Use Teeth As A Bottle Opener 

We wish we didn’t even have to mention this… but seriously. When you need to open a bottle, snack, or package, please skip your teeth and use tools meant for such a task. Taking a few minutes to find scissors or a bottle opener will take much less time than dealing with the pain, time, and expenses of fixing a broken tooth.

6. Cultivate Contentment

While social media has made it possible to stay connected with loved ones this year, it also has made it really easy to give in to the comparison game. It’s easy to compare our lives to how great others look on social media. Reduce your stress and anxiety by focusing on all that you have. Health, family, and friends, a stash of toilet paper, and the chance to create new holiday traditions. It may seem simple, but it can make a world of difference.

7. Less Sweets When Your Stock Your Stockings

Rather than filling stockings up with candies, sweets and surgery treats, consider swapping out the candy for toys and non-teeth damaging treats. A toothbrush also fits perfectly into a stocking!

8. Bring On The Turkey

Turkey is a healthy, festive food that brings in the taste of the holidays – and it’s also good for your teeth! The protein in turkey contains phosphorus, which contributes to strong teeth and bones. So go ahead and enjoy seconds and thirds of the turkey!

9. Chew On Some Cheese

Bring on the charcuterie boards and cheese trays! Cheese makes a great snack to enjoy during the holidays – especially if you’re also sipping on an alcoholic or highly acidic drink. Cheese has pH balancing properties that help neutralize acids AND it’s full of calcium! It’s a win-win holiday treat!

10. Try Out Some DIY

There are so many fun and creative holiday DIY projects and crafts you can find on the internet. So many sweet memories can be made when you and your loved ones work on creative projects together. Prefer going solo? Some of the sweetest gifts are handmade ones. Skip buying gifts this year and try out your artistic talents by making handmade presents!

11. Get Into The Spirit Of Giving 

Giving is a proven way to feel happier. Get into the spirit of the season by giving to those less fortunate. This could be a monetary donation to Nonprofit Organizations, purchasing Christmas gifts for families in need, or giving of your time to volunteer at a soup kitchen or organization. Do some research about the kind of help that’s needed in your own community and get into the spirit of giving!

12. Make The Holidays Meaningful – Even If They Look Different

There’s no doubt that every one of us has to change up some holiday traditions because of COVID-19. That doesn’t mean that the magic of the holiday season is gone. While this year has been challenging for many of us, there are always things to still be thankful for. When you shift your mindset, you’ll find the magic of the holiday season, even if it looks different this year.

From all of us at CNS Dental, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!