How to keep your teeth healthy this festive season
The end of year holidays are fast approaching, and with that comes plenty of temptation.
Christmas time and the holidays in general are a time to enjoy some much-deserved relaxation. But whether you are travelling or staying home this festive season, it’s likely that you’ll be faced with the temptation of plenty of sweet treats. Enjoy your break, but keep in mind a few of the tips we’ve put together for the sake of your oral health…
Avoid hard and sticky sweets
Hard snacks like popcorn can cause teeth to crack, while caramel coated varieties are packed with sugar that can stick to the teeth for long periods of time. Other hard treats to try and avoid include nut brittles, which are typically very high in sugar and can be very hard to chew; mixed nuts that can cause teeth to crack (especially if there are pieces of shell remaining in the pack); hard candies like lollipops and candy canes, which tend to stay in the mouth for a long time and expose the teeth to sugar for extended periods; dried fruit, which often gets stuck between the teeth and is also packed with sugar; and caramel and toffee, which are sticky and cling to the teeth, causing cavities and erosion of the enamel.
Enjoy festive drinks in moderation
Carbonated and sweetened sodas can cause some serious damage to your teeth as these types of drinks tend to be acidic and cause the enamel on your teeth to erode over time. Other festive drinks like hot chocolate also tend to be very high in sugar (especially if you add a marshmallow or two), while eggnog can cause some serious damage because of its sugar and alcohol content. Sugar feeds the bacteria that exist in the mouth, while alcohol contributes to a dry mouth. It’s also a good idea to watch your wine intake over the festive season. White wine is highly acidic, while red wine can cause unwanted stains and discolouration on the teeth.
Go easy on baked goods
Festive feasts often include a range of baked goods, but just be sure to enjoy these in moderation. The starch in bread and other baked treats is broken down into sugar when you chew, which can get stuck between your teeth and lead to cavities over time. Less refined breads typically contain less sugar, so try and opt for these when you can.
Other festive baked goods that you should try and limit include fruit cake, which usually contains lots of sugar as well as sticky pieces of sweet fruit, and any desserts and cookies that contain caramel and toffee fillings or sauces that can easily cling to your teeth.
Don’t forget about your oral hygiene
Although your normal routine may be disrupted while you’re on holiday, it’s important that you stick to your usual oral hygiene regime. We recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss at least once daily. It’s also important that you come in and see us regularly, so if you’re due for a dental check-up and clean, don’t skip your appointment. When you come in for a check-up, we’ll also answer any questions you might have about your oral hygiene and address any concerns relating to your oral health.
If you would like some more advice regarding your oral health, or would like to make an appointment to see us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our team is happy to help you with any questions or concerns you might have and is dedicated to providing top quality care, no matter what your needs are.