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Holiday Dental Tips to Remember

a toy tooth holding a toothbrush and toothpaste

We want to wish you a happy holiday and also recommend the best ways to protect your teeth.

Given the activities during holidays, many of you may experience or help someone with:

Decay related pain
– Injuries & knocks
– Stress related grinding
– Increased sugars in food
– Keeping breath fresh

The following sections outline some practical holiday dental tips and suggestions to tackle each of these common issues.

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Warm regards, Dr Fern White


Decay-related pain

man suffering from tooth pain

A persistent toothache is always a sign that you need to see your dentist as soon as practicable.

In the meantime:

  • try to obtain relief by rinsing the mouth with water
  • try to clean out debris from any obvious cavities
  • use dental floss to remove any food that might be trapped within the cavity (especially between the teeth)
  • if swelling is present, place a cold compress to the outside of the cheek
  • take pain relief if necessary (Ibuprofen based pain relief can help inflammation more than codeine)

Injuries and Knocks

a drawing of a hand picking up a tooth

Kids and adults alike can get into situations where they may knock or break teeth. There are some immediate actions that can help deal with this issue before getting straight to a dentist.

Knocked out tooth

  • If a tooth is dislodged, rinse briefly in milk (or have the patient suck it clean, or use contact lens saline) and only hold the tooth by the white smooth crown.
  • Either place in back into the mouth (from where it came, or in the cheek space) or if this is not possible or appropriate place the tooth in some milk or wrap it in cling wrap
  • Get straight to a dentist within a hour of the incident

Broken tooth

  • Clean the area with warm water
  • Keep all the broken bits, they may be useful (keep them moist, wrap in cling wrap)
  • Reduce swelling with a cold compress
  • Visit a dentist as soon as possible to ensure no further damage is caused

Grinding from stress

a woman massaging her cheeks

Meeting the relatives can be a happy occasion, but it can also be a little stressful at times.

Try to avoid clenching by relaxing the muscles around the jaw. They are very strong and able to damage your teeth if left unchecked.

Serious grinding can be helped with splints or muscle treatment, best to consult your dentist about this level of issue.

However, if you feel yourself gathering tension in the jaw muscles, try simply massaging the pressure points around the temple and where your ear meets your upper jaw bone.

Sugars in drinks and food

a woman drinking a glass of lemonade from a straw


  • Try to avoid drinking bubbly drinks for a long period of time
  • Use a straw if possible as this avoids sugary liquid flowing over and inbetween your teeth
  • The mouth takes about an hour to return to a neutral pH acid level, chewing sugar free gum can help increase saliva and therefore speed up this neutralising process
  • Green tea can prevent plaque and decay, it also helps reduce bad breath


  • Avoid crunching down on candy cane or sticky sweets, a broken tooth during the holidays is no fun at all
  • Crumbly or hard cheese helps balance the acid levels in your mouth
  • Always FLOSS and brush before bed (or falling asleep on the couch)
  • You may like to use a flossing tool which can make the process easier, but still concentrate on getting into the gums correctly

Fresh breath

a white and blue tongue brush

Meeting a lot of family? Kissing under the Mistletoe? Fresh breath is usually achieved by keeping a clean mouth, gums and teeth. A large percentage of bad breath is due to bacteria on the tongue and teeth.

Try these few tips for keeping fresh breath:

  • Using a tongue brush like Orabrush
  • Floss, floss, floss…
  • Sugar free mints
  • Drink some water after your meal to dislodge food particles
  • Use an alcohol free mouthwash

More holiday dental tips & advice

If you find yourself with a dental problem not mentioned above this holiday season, our team will be more than happy to give appropriate advice and treatment. Call us at 9646 1599 (03) or book an online consultation.

Your feedback please

a drawing of a green thumb's up sign and a red thumb's down sign

We would like to hear any comments or suggestions you have.

Improvement of patient services and comfort are always embraced and your assistance is important in this process.

Please email us directly at [email protected]