What do you get when you mix together increased exposure to alcohol, sweet foods, and cultural stress?
An insult to your efforts to navigate to optimal oral health.
Between holiday work parties, family gatherings and the ever-present pressure of holiday shopping, we’ve found the ‘holiday haze’ time of year to be notoriously challenging on one’s oral health.
With this quick article, let’s cover some strategies we’ve found helpful to assist us to maintain optimal oral health through the holiday season.
To help mitigate seasonal increased sweet food consumption
There are several things we can do ahead of time knowing that we’re going to be exposed to all sorts of sweet indulgences.
1. Eat lots of healthy fats before going to any festivities.
Having plenty of healthy fats in your system will suppress your desire for sweet foods when presented with the buffet of options during the holidays.
2. Support your internal cavity resistance system.
Since we know we’re going to be exposed to more sugar (which causes one remineralization system to go haywire), make sure you have enough vitamin D and plenty of vitamin K2 circulating in your system.
Among many other health-giving mechanisms, vitamin D is responsible for helping our bodies uptake calcium from food we eat. And once the calcium is in our bloodstream, we need vitamin K2 to tell the calcium where its needed to support bone tissue, including our teeth. (To learn more about vitamin K2, here’s a link to a recent expert interview we did on this critical subject.)
3. Choose your sweets intentionally.
Allow yourself some indulgence.
Enjoy the sweet foods you choose to eat with full awareness and zero guilt. You are choosing to consume these. Being rigid with our eating habits isn’t balanced or healthy. Like so many wise people across all cultures and religions say, ‘Everything in moderation’.
Yes, there are some foods that we choose to not eat ever. Be clear on those that you choose to never eat and allow yourself some wiggle room with the foods that you choose to limit or even almost always avoid. Be gentle with yourself. And please, don’t beat yourself or guilt yourself if you choose to eat some Christmas fudge. Pay attention when eating it and you may just find that you really don’t want to eat it after all.
4. Make your own to bring to the gathering.
Help share healthier options with others in your network.
The world needs more and more of us ‘living out loud’ and sharing our choices with others. Will you get teased? Maybe. But we have found through the years that most people appreciate it when you share your research with them without judgement.
If you want a deeper dive into strategies how to live a cavity-free life, we invite you to download our FREE resource guidebook, “How to stop tooth decay and remineralize your teeth”. It’s loaded with helpful tips and techniques to assist anyone looking to lower their risk of tooth decay.
How to deal with the ‘Holiday Cheer’
Full transparency, we aren’t big alcohol drinkers in our home.
It’s just never been our ‘cup of tea’. I used to enjoy an occasional beer, but since choosing to live gluten free, beer has fallen into the past (yeah, I’ve tried gluten free beers, but they weren’t thrilling for me :).
We will rarely have a glass of red wine. We avoid wine mostly because finding the quality we would prefer to drink at a party is almost impossible.
It’s not that we’re wine snobs. It’s just that we know that the pesticides used on non-organic wines are fluorinated compounds and we do our best to avoid consuming fluoride in all forms.
So how does one navigate the holiday parties with all their ‘festivities’?
Here are a couple strategies we’ve found helpful.
1. Always have water with you.
This provides you with something to drink in your hand. And if you choose to have some alcohol, you can follow it with water to help reduce the acidity on your teeth and the stains so common from red wine. And if you really want to blend in…
2. Honor your preferences at parties and blend right in.
Hands down, this is our favorite strategy. Perhaps because I (Will here) spent WAY too much time learning about ninja strategies as a teen, but with this technique you can blend in at any holiday work party.
Plan ahead and bring with you to the gathering some pure cranberry juice and coconut water. This way, regardless of ‘what type of glass’ the party is serving, you can ‘ninja’ your awkward social situations with ease.
More cranberry than coconut water looks great in a wine glass and with a little more coconut water, it can even pass as a cosmopolitan for those ‘coctail parties’ :).
Burning hard into winter
This one has truly never made any sense to us.
The fact is, here in the northern hemisphere, we’re heading into winter. Winter is the time of turning in, of contemplation, getting more sleep and rest, to rekindle your ‘inner fire’.
If we don’t choose to nurture our healing energy during winter, we’re literally paving the way for poor health in the new year.
So, why our culture chooses to party hard heading into winter has never made sense to us. We’ve just resigned that we’re not supposed to understand this cultural habit.
Celebrate with friends? Yes, absolutely. One of the best ways to fill your cup”
Share quality, fun time with family? Definitely, it’s a blessing.
Just keep in mind that our actions mid winter set us up for the following year. So, be sure to honor your need for quiet time too.
In fact, it’s been a tradition in our family for many years to ‘turn in’ during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. We’ve continued this to include our awesome WOW team (WOW stands for We’re OraWellness :). So, while we’re here, just a quick heads up that we’ll be closed the week between Christmas and New Year’s.
We hope these strategies help you keep your ‘pearly whites’ healthy while you shine your precious smile into your world this holiday season.
What strategies do you use to navigate the holidays more healthfully? Please share in the comments so we can all continue to learn from one another.
We wish you a happy holiday season filled with lots and lots of smiles and laughter!
Why do teeth decay? [article]An easy step toward stopping tooth decay [article]What’s the best vitamin K2 supplement on the market and why [market analysis]How to reverse cavities and restore brain & heart health [expert interview]How to stop tooth decay and remineralize your teeth [Free resource guidebook]