With Christmas almost upon us, the team at Teeth and Smiles thought this would be the perfect time to remind all our patients how best to enjoy the festive period while still looking after their 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.
Read on for some of our top tips to keep your teeth healthy this Christmas.
During the festive period try to brush your teeth three times a day using a fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth using interdental aids, such as interdental brushes, floss, or tape, daily. This will help to ensure that you do not develop any food traps which if left can lead to infection.
Why not treat yourself to a new toothbrush at the start of December. Toothbrushes should be changed every 3-4 months as this ensures that you are getting the most effective clean possible when you brush your teeth.
Eat the Rainbow
With all the sweet treats around do not forget to include fruit and vegetables in your diet these will help to ensure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Avoid All Day Grazing
With so much food available it can become easy to just graze all day. To help your teeth and general health aim to eat 3 meals a day plus no more than two snacks. If you do snack stick to crudities and nuts rather than sweets and chocolates. Nuts provide a great source of calcium and vitamin D which have been shown to help improve your dental health.
Keep Sugary Treats for Dessert
Wherever possible try to enjoy your sugary treats after your meals. This also true of those treats with a high dried fruit content such as mince pies, Christmas pudding and Christmas cake. This is because we produce more saliva when we are eating which helps neutralise the acids produced by bacteria in the mouth and it also helps to rinse away food particles and sugary substances.
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 as 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. Sugar free chewing gum can have the same effect, although this is best left until you get down from the table!
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.
All the team at Teeth and Smiles would like to wish our patients a happy and hopefully trouble free festive period, but should you have any problems do not hesitate to contact the surgery on 020 7352 7049.