We all like having festive fun, but did you know that many Christmas traditions can harm your teeth? Sadly, many winter foods and games cause chips and cracks to the teeth, and getting to see a dentist can sometimes be challenging during the holidays. Make sure that your teeth are kept healthy and chip-free this Christmas by following the tips below. There's no need to miss out on fun, so we've listed a safe alternative to each activity below. Don't just think about your own teeth - you should also make sure that your children and relatives avoid any dental emergencies.
Having snowball fights
Snowball fights are a popular way to enjoy the cold weather but can be really risky for a few reasons. Snowballs that are pre-made and left in a pile can very quickly become ice. A snowball that you might expect to explode into soft powder on impact may actually stay solid, and can easily chip a tooth when thrown with force. Even if snowballs are thrown immediately after being formed, there's a risk that you could scoop up hard rocks, pebbles, and pieces of metal or glass without realizing. As well as being strong enough to chip teeth, these items can cause serious damage to the eyes and face.
Stay safe by purchasing soft fabric snowballs to play with indoors, or stick to building snowmen. If you really want an outdoor snowball throwing experience, set up targets and aim at them rather than other people.
Eating hard candy
Candy canes may look nice on your tree, but they're extremely solid and a common cause of chipped teeth. The same goes for other hard candy that you bite into. Choosing bite sized sweets means you can suck on them instead of biting, so there's no risk of chips, but all that sugar isn't ideal for your teeth. The best sweets are soft and can be eaten quickly - look out for marshmallows in festive shapes, or hanging tree chocolates. You could purchase decorative candy canes for aesthetic purposes only, with the added bonus that they'll last for years.
Baking coins into puddings
There's an old tradition of baking silver coins, thimbles and wishbones into Christmas puddings, with the recipient receiving good luck. While this seems novel and fun, there's nothing fun about biting down on a hard coin in your pudding and chipping a tooth. Keep yourself and your children safe by leaving currency out of the pudding this year. Instead, pass around a bag of coins, with one being silver, and let everyone pick one. The person who picks the silver coin can benefit from good luck without risking their teeth!