The holiday season is here and you'll most likely be spending time with friends and relatives. While maintaining good oral hygiene is important during all times of the year, you need to take special care to keep your teeth and orthodontic braces clean during the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

"Holiday get-togethers tend to lead people to consume sugary treats and drink alcoholic beverages more than usual," said Academy of General Dentistry spokesperson Dr. George Shepley, in a press release. "Additionally, with their busy schedules and increased stress levels, I've noticed that my patients' oral hygiene suffers. They forget the most basic of oral hygiene tasks that can counteract the effects of sugary snacks and drinks."

Dr. Shepley suggests that anyone working to keep their teeth clean be on the lookout for the following:

Anxiety

Holiday stress can cause you to clench or grind your teeth, causing jaw pain. If this is a problem for you, consider visiting your orthodontist who can fit you with a custom night guard.

Sugary snacks

Adults and kids with braces know that hard and sticky candies can bend or even break braces. Your attitude during this time of year shouldn't be any different. If you've found that you've eaten one too many candy canes or gingerbread cookies, brush and floss as soon as possible.

Wine

If you're of age, there's nothing wrong with having a drink or two at a holiday party. The high acidity levels in wine can, however, eat away at tooth enamel. To prevent damage, avoid swishing the drink around in your mouth, and drink water in between glasses.

For more tips about keeping your orthodontic appliances clean, contact a New York City Orthodontist today!

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