Christmas is considered the best time of the year to indulge on sugary treats, champagne and a multitude of different snacks, however many of us may not have considered the damage we’ll be doing to our teeth in the process. Maintaining good oral health is important all year round, but during Christmas time when we want to look our best and temptations are all around, it’s even more crucial to look after our teeth and ensure we’re careful about what we consume. This doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the festive foods and drinks you love however – this guide will make you aware of some of the dangers to good oral health commonly presented at Christmas and the ways you can help to minimise damage and keep teeth and gums clean and healthy.
Avoid constant snacking
Although you may want your fill of all the foods and drinks at the table, constantly snacking, drinking and eating on Christmas day can have an extremely bad impact on teeth. It’s not about how much we are consuming but about how long sugary foods and drinks stay in our mouths. On Christmas Day and Boxing Day in particular, most of us start snacking in the morning and continue through to the night. Avoid the risk of plaque build-up and tooth decay by trying not to snack all day long, and eating very sugary foods with your main meal.
Don’t wrap up your routine
Christmas is an exciting time where the focus on cleaning our teeth properly isn’t usually a top priority. Combined with the effects of alcohol and staying up late, we may forget to take care of our teeth during the festive period. This is the worst thing you can do however; with all the tempting foods and drinks being consumed our teeth have even more of a rough time. During festive times it’s best to brush your teeth 3 times a day and don’t forget to floss and use mouthwash at least once a day too. It doesn’t take long and will really help to clean away any particles or acidic foods that could damage your teeth.
Know your sugars
You may think that countless chocolates, boiled sweets or cakes are bad for your oral health, but mince pies containing dried fruit, and snacking on festive dried fruits such as raisins or dates, should also be avoided in large amounts due to the high sugar content. They are much better for your overall health and preferable to processed sweets, though just remember to limit the quantity you snack on — especially towards bedtime!
Moderation is key
Again, maintaining good oral health during this festive season doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy yourself and that you can’t have your favourite Christmas drinks or pudding. Alcohol is a prime culprit for affecting oral health as it is often sugar laden and can lead to snacking. It’s wise to be careful however and just keep moderation in mind to protect your teeth, gums and overall health.
Feast on the good
There are many festive foods you can indulge in which won’t be harmful to your teeth and can help you maintain good oral health. Festive nuts and vegetables, and the Christmas turkey are full of essential nutrients. Just ensure you’re careful when biting into raw vegetable snacks and use a nutcracker to open any nuts. Luckily, cheese is great for teeth. It helps to restore the mouth’s natural acid balance and reduce the risk of developing tooth decay. Milk acts in the same way, which makes it an ideal substitute for fizzy drinks at the end of your night.
Ultimately Christmas is a time to celebrate and by taking the proper care to clean teeth, keeping moderation in mind and balancing your diet with healthier choices, you’ll be able to fully enjoy the festive period with a healthy smile. For more advice on maintaining good oral health, or if you’d like to book an appointment please call us on 01732 865021 or email: [email protected].