We’ve all found ourselves in this awkward situation at one time or another: We’re eating and drinking—maybe having a business lunch—and we find ourselves face to face with friends, coworkers, or even people we don’t know, and all the while we have a piece of parsley stuck in our teeth or a bad case of garlic breath. Before we quickly put a damper on a business lunch, we need to figure out how to freshen up in a hurry.
During the holiday season, we attend office parties, family gatherings, and all kinds of seasonal events that usually involve eating, drinking, and being merry. But when we’re away from home, what can we do to keep our smiles looking their best when we don’t have access to our usual toothbrush, floss, or mouthwash? Here are a few tips from your Kansas City family dentist…
Assess the situation. You may not always notice that bit of parsley stuck between your teeth if you’re not looking. If you think your smile may need some attention, find a restroom and take a gander. The situation may not be as bad as you thought, or you may just need to give the ol’ chompers a quick scrub with a paper towel. Just go easy!
Rinse your mouth with water. Drinking water is good for your teeth, anyway. Dehydration reduces your mouth’s production of saliva, which is the first line of defense for your teeth and gums. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water along with any other libations, and if you’re concerned about bad breath or food stuck in your teeth, swish some water around in your mouth for a bit.
Chew a piece of sugarless gum. Chewing stimulates the production of saliva which, as we mentioned, helps keep your teeth and gums clean. Any bits of food that are left in your mouth may also stick to the gum. Try to select sugarless gum that’s been approved by the ADA.
No chewing gum available? Ask if anyone has a breath mint. It’ll help promote saliva and take care of bad breath, too. If you’re heading to a lot of events or parties this holiday season, it might be a good idea to keep a supply of your preferred gum and/or breath mints (or even pocket flossers) in your purse or jacket pocket.
Snag a toothpick—or make one. If you just need to dislodge some food, a toothpick can do the trick. Heck, the edge of a business card may even work. Just be careful not to cut your gums, and be sure to throw your makeshift toothpick away when you’re done.
Reach for the crunchy fruits and veggies. There’s a reason foods such as apples, celery, and carrots are sometimes called “nature’s toothbrushes.” These fibrous, crunchy foods actually “scrub” your teeth as you eat them, which can help to remove particles of food and even bacteria. If you’re worried about bad breath, you can chew on fresh mint or basil, or a lemon or lime.
If you’re at a party with a bar, they should have at least some of the above!
If you get caught in a situation where you have something in your teeth during an important meeting, don’t be embarrassed. Just apologize and explain. After all, everyone has been there at one time or another.
And if you want help keeping your smile looking its best day in and day out, just call Blacker Family Dental in Kansas City at (816) 763-8400 or click here to schedule an appointment.