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How to Make the Most of Your Winter Break

With shorter days and extra time off work, you may be seeking meaningful things to do over the holidays. While time with loved ones and seasonal festivities are obvious (and deserving) holiday activities, you may also love using some of your free time to reap the benefits that come from prioritizing your smile’s health and beauty.

The perfect blend of self-care and adulting, an intentional trip to your dentist’s office allows you to nurture your health, appearance, and general well-being while delivering the gratification of checking items off your to-do list. So in between gingerbread lattes and ugly sweater parties, here are 8 things to do over the holidays that will keep you smiling long after you’ve rung in 2020.

1. Brighten your smile with professional whitening.

A bright, white smile is always in season, though you may especially enjoy wearing one during holiday gatherings and events (i.e., primetime for photos and selfies). With a professional at-home whitening treatment, you can attain a whiter smile within a week. After visiting your dentist for your customized whitening kit, all that’s left is to queue up your streaming list and wear prescription-strength whitening gel in a specialized tray for 15 minutes daily.

2. Correct cosmetic dental imperfections.

Do you ever wish you could correct one or more teeth that’s cracked, discolored, uneven, misshapen, or chipped? If you answered yes, then a holiday cosmetic consultation with your dentist can reveal your options for finally making it happen, such as dental bonding or porcelain veneers. Dental bonding can often be completed in a single visit, while a porcelain veneer treatment is typically completed in just two appointments over the course of two to three weeks.

3. Keep your wisdom, but lose the teeth.

If there’s one thing wisdom teaches, it’s that nipping potential problems in the bud is generally the road to less stress and greater ease. That’s certainly the lesson from your third molars (aka your wisdom teeth), which are typically removed to prevent you from dealing with unsavory oral health problems, such as overcrowding, infection, and pain.

Modern dental technology and techniques have improved wisdom teeth removal to maximize your comfort and healing, with recovery time usually lasting no more than a few days. Believe it or not, having your wisdom tooth removed is one of the recommended things to do over the holidays as you’ll have more time for recovery without worrying about going to work.

4. Stop snoring.

Snoring can frustrate your bedmate, disrupt your quality of sleep, cause dry mouth, and increase your risk of unpleasant oral health issues, from bad breath to gum disease. Snoring can also be a symptom of sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder that causes repeated pauses in breathing while you sleep. On top of causing daytime drowsiness, decreased sex drive, and morning headaches, sleep apnea is also associated with other serious health issues, including high blood pressure and diabetes.

As much havoc as snoring can wreak on your daily functioning and overall well-being, snoring treatment is often as easy as scheduling an appointment with your dentist. Once a sleep study has been completed, treatment often includes the use of a customized night guard during sleep, which will gently reposition the structures of your mouth to allow for smooth breathing and uninterrupted sleep.

5. Fight gingivitis.

Are your gums bright red, swollen, tender, or easy to bleed when you brush, floss, or eat? If yes, then you may have gingivitis, the earliest stage of periodontal (gum) disease. Gingivitis is most commonly caused when bacterial plaque accumulates on and around your teeth, which irritates your gums and triggers an inflammatory immune response. If this irritation and inflammation is left untreated, gingivitis can eventually lead to bigger problems, like oral discomfort, gum recession, loose teeth, and tooth loss.

The sooner you visit your dentist for periodontal therapy, the more likely you are to successfully treat and reverse gingivitis and its negative effects. After your dentist has removed the hardened plaque (known as calculus) from your teeth, you’ll also receive expert advice on how you can keep your gums happy and healthy.

6. Straighten your teeth.

Straightening your teeth can be one of the best gifts you give to your long-term confidence and well-being. As an added bonus, straighter teeth may be easier to achieve than you think.

Thanks to its discreet design and low-maintenance wear, Invisalign is an orthodontic system that works for many adults on the move. Invisalign uses a series of clear and removable aligners, which incrementally straightens your teeth in as little as nine to 15 months. The process begins with sharp 3D imaging of your mouth and teeth, which you can tackle on a day off before you head out for your holiday shopping. Once your treatment plan is complete and your custom aligners are crafted, you’ll simply change your aligners once every two weeks until you have the straighter smile you set out to achieve.

7. Restore a tooth in need.

Repairing a tooth that’s damaged or weak from tooth decay or injury can restore your smile’s health, beauty, and function while supporting your confidence and mental well-being. Your dentist can often complete many restorative procedures in a single visit, including tooth-colored fillings, same day crowns, inlays, and onlays.

8. Get a professional dental cleaning.

A professional dental cleaning is one of the simplest ways to keep your smile luminous and healthy before, during, and after the holidays. It’s one of the few things to do over the holidays — consider it a gift to yourself.

Alongside fighting bad breath, staining, tooth decay, and gum disease, a professional tooth cleaning appointment can also provide an unexpected moment to kick back and relax in between the holiday errands and festivities. You may even find yourself loving it so much that you find yourself happily repeating this self-care ritual every six months.

Wherever your holiday season takes you, your smile will be with you every step of the way. To treat your smile to the care it deserves, contact The Tooth Doc today to schedule an appointment. And from all of us at The Tooth Doc here in Omaha, NE, we wish you and yours a safe and most splendid holiday season!