We all like to indulge in the festive season but there are a few things we can do to prevent dental problems that go on into January.
Here are our TOP TEN TIPS to help protect your teeth.
- Don’t let your oral hygiene routine go out the window
It is easy when out of routine to forget to brush your teeth but it is even more important to avoid those nasty sugars and bacteria from doing damage to your teeth. Make sure you brush last thing at night and at some other time of the day with a Fluoride toothpaste.
- Moderation is key
You don’t need to avoid all the goodies but try not to over indulge. We all need to let go once in a while but try and do so with limits. Try and combine sugary foods so that there are less sugar attacks.
- Opt for cheese rather than sweets
Cheese is a good food for our teeth as it’s low in sugar and alkaline so helps to neutralise acidic foods which can do us harm. So take advantage of all the fabulous cheeses you get at this time of year.
- Limit alcohol consumption
Alcohol can lead to oral cancers if consumed in high quantities and frequencies. The type of alcohol consumed also makes a difference. Spirits are worse that Beers or Wines. There is also a lot of sugar in many drinks, in particular cocktails.
- Drink with a straw
This helps to bypass your teeth and therefore protects them, try to use a straw when drinking anything that isn’t water if possible
- Chew sugar free chewing gum
Chewing gum helps to promote saliva production which is the bodies natural defence for your teeth. It neutralises acid in the mouth and also washes teeth.
- Your teeth are not ‘tools’
Ever torn cellotape tape with your teeth? I think we all have, but its surprising how much damage it can do and don’t start me on using teeth as bottle openers or nut crackers!
- Beware of grazing
As mentioned previously the risk of tooth decay is higher if you have more sugar attacks so try to limit how many times you are having foods, particularly sugary foods. Sitting with a tin of sweets is the worst thing you can do.
- Don’t brush after bubbly (or other acidic drinks)
Make sure you leave at least an hour after having acid drinks (such as alcohol and fruit juices) before brushing your teeth. The acid softens the enamel and if brushed can lead to tooth wear.
- Careful of toffee and nuts!
Every January we see a lot of dental emergencies where fillings have been dislodged by toffee or teeth cracked on nuts. Try and make sure it isn’t you!
From the Y Bont Faen Dental Centre Team we wish you a very merry Christmas!