The festive season is upon us and Christmas edging closer and closer. We’re all getting ready for holiday fun and for a lot of us, the indulgence has already started. Chocolate biscuits and mince pies are out in the office, after work drinks are happening and we’re ditching our diets for winter comfort foods. It’s such a great time of year, but the effects on your teeth can be quite the opposite!
The extra sugar and snacking that’s associated with the Christmas period can have some pretty negative effects on your teeth. Whilst treats will be quite free flowing in the next few weeks, your teeth are particularly affected on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, when there’s a good chance that they will be bombarded with sugary and acidic foods and drinks for most of the 48 hours. Your teeth don’t get much chance to recover between meals, snacks and drinks.
With so many Christmassy foods and drinks linked to tooth decay, it’s so important to be extra vigilant with your dental care in the next few weeks. So that your festive fun isn’t spoiled by tooth decay and sore gums, we’ve put together some simple but essential tips for looking after your teeth properly this Christmas.
Be aware of what you’re eating
Christmas foods like Christmas cake, Christmas pudding and mince pies all contain a lot of dried fruit. As a result, they are really high in sugar. As good as they taste, these sticky foods can stick to your teeth and cause damage, particularly when you’re eating them on and off throughout Christmas day and Boxing day.
Stick to your routine!
Most of us have a pretty standard oral health routine all year round, but with routines of all kinds flying out the window over Christmas, it’s easy to get out of the habit of your dental care. As we’ve already mentioned, your teeth take a lot of abuse with all the sugary foods, drinks and alcoholic beverages consumed, so we need to go to extra effort to make sure we stick to our normal routines. Rather than settling right down for a nap after Christmas supper, make sure you brush your teeth first!
Say yes to the cheese board
Whilst cheese in large quantities isn’t great for your waistline, a little cheese is great for your teeth. It helps to neutralise the acid in your mouth that results from Christmas treats, helping to reduce the development of tooth decay. So, when the cheese board comes out at the end of a meal, make sure you’ve saved some room for a nice bit of cheese.
Everything in moderation
When there are so many goodies on offer at Christmas, it’s easy to overindulge, no matter how much you might regret it later. The truth is, you’ll probably enjoy yourself more if you don’t overload on sweets, so it’s ok to say no to some food and drink. Your teeth will certainly thank you for it.
Your teeth aren’t a bottle opener or nut cracker
If you’re in a rush to start the party and get a bottle open, remember, your teeth aren’t a tool – always use a bottle opener. The same could also be said for trying to crack nuts open – again, use a nutcracker, it’s designed for the job.
Using your teeth as tools could lead to unnecessary damage. You could chip a tooth, cut open your gums, lose a tooth or even worse!
Should you for any reason damage or lose a tooth, don’t panic, but you should contact our practice immediately on 01732 865021. Should a tooth become dislodged, our advice is to keep the tooth in cheek, or if not possible, keep it in some milk until you can receive emergency dental treatment – this will give you the best chance of your tooth being put back into its socket.