What do you think of when you picture Christmas day? Everyone slumped on the sofa, with their waistbands straining, a large tin of brightly coloured wrapped chocolates, a pile of nutshells or a few empty glasses of your favourite tipple? The festive season is full of fun and indulgence but be aware that all these wonderful culinary delights can put a strain on your dental health.
It is very important to be extra vigilant with your oral health over the festive period, if you want to avoid a dental visit in January. Remember your teeth are under attack from the sugars and acids in our foods for up to an hour every time you eat or drink. With regular snacking during the festivities this may mean that your teeth never really get a chance to recover.
Beware dried fruits
During the drying process, the sugars present in the fruits are concentrated. This means that a holiday favourite such as dates can contain as much as 63g of sugar in every 100g, which can be more than is in some chocolate bars! This is true whether they are eaten individually or in mince pies, Christmas cake or pudding.
Teeth are not tools
Many people end up damaging their teeth as they use them to tear Sellotape, open beer bottles or crack open nuts. Always ensure that you have a pair of scissors, bottle opener and a nut cracker handy, or you may be asking your dentist for a new set of teeth, come January.
Cheese is great for teeth. It helps to return the mouth to its natural pH balance and reduces the risks of tooth decay. That is why an end of dinner cheeseboard is a great idea.
Do not forget your oral hygiene
It is very easy on busy days to forgo your usual routine and just give your teeth a cursory brush before bed. Teeth take a bit of a hammering, with all the chocolates, sugary foods and drinks and alcohol consumed over the festive period so be sure to take the time to:
- Brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes, twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste
- Use interdental cleaning aids, such as floss or interdental brushes daily
Moderation in all things
Moderation is definitely the most important thing to remember. Bear in mind that it is not the quantity of sugary food and drink you have, but how often you have them that will affect your oral health. Try to limit sugary foods and drinks to mealtimes wherever possible and drink drinks through a straw to reduce the time the liquid is in contact with your teeth.
2020 has been a year like no other, all the team at Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre would like to take this opportunity to thank all our patients for their continued support and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to seeing you all in 2021. Should you have any dental problems during the festive period do not hesitate to contact the surgery on 01622 682 029 for details of our out of hours emergency cover.