How to maintain a healthy smile throughout the festive season
Christmas is a wonderful time of year with plenty of family gatherings, parties, festive meals and celebrations all of which tend to include various drinks, treats, foods, snacks and alcohols that are packed with harmful sugars. Not to mention that the busy season can leave people short on time, more forgetful or likely to have late nights, all of which can lead to a lack of proper brushing and dental care.
At Sharrow Dental, we want you to start the new year off right and take good care of your oral health and hygiene over Christmas. So, to help, our Essex Dental experts have come up with a list of top tips for protecting your teeth over the festive season!
Keep up your dental routine
Always ensure plenty of time in the morning, before bed and throughout the day to brush, floss and clean your teeth when necessary. It’s easy to get lazy or forget about brushing after breakfast when you are whizzing out the door to get those last-minute Christmas presents, but consistency is key when it comes to dental hygiene so don’t skip brushing!
Only use your teeth for chewing
It sounds like such a simple thing but it’s surprising how easy it is for people to rip, tear or break things off using their teeth without a second thought. Your teeth are not tools and using them to open packets or gifts, bite through cello tape or open bottles is an easy way to risk chipping or breaking them!
Watch your sugar intake
Yes of course it’s Christmas and you should be able to enjoy yourself, but it’s always important to be mindful of what we are eating and drinking and the affect it has on our teeth and body. Have a mince pie, but don’t eat the whole pack, enjoy some chocolates, but maybe not for breakfast and if you’re having a festive cocktail then try a sugar free mixer like diet soda or tonic.
Use a straw
Those that are partial to soft drinks, wines or alcohol will tend to drink more than usual over the Christmas period whilst enjoying lazy days at home, time off work and celebrating with friends and family. If this is true of yourself, then remember to use a straw where possible as this will be much better for your teeth than drinking straight from a can or glass.
Brush after sticky food
Even if you’ve already brushed that morning and intend to again that night, if you’ve been eating particularly sticky or high sugar foods such as Christmas pudding, toffees, candy canes or gummy sweets then it could be worth an extra brush.
Drink plenty of water
Drinking water help neutralise the acids in your mouth and is therefore one of the best things you could do for your oral health over the festive season. Water works by cutting down the acidic effects of things such as wine, carbonated drinks and other acidic foods and beverages, essentially rinsing them away.
Don’t forget the children
Even if your kids are old enough to be doing their own teeth, it’s easy for them to get into the habit of brushing teeth quickly and not particularly well if they are not monitored. Over Christmas, with all of the extra sugary foods and treats this can be even more detrimental to a child’s oral health so be sure to check in on them, offer them a hand, remind them how to do them properly and maybe even demonstrate how you brush your own teeth.
Finish with a cheese course
A great tip that you will no doubt enjoy is to make sure you save room for some cheese after your Christmas feast!
A cheeseboard is a great way to help not just you but your family and guests because the cheese works to neutralise plaque acid, returning your mouth to its natural acid balance and helping to prevent tooth decay.