No one likes a Scrooge, but there are ways of keeping your family’s teeth and gums healthy over the holidays without being a festive killjoy. Here are our top yuletide tips.
Time your treats
The idea of completely abolishing sugar over the festive period fills most people with horror, but you can minimise the damage to your teeth by snacking strategically. Rather than grazing on sugary snacks throughout the day, allow yourself a treat or dessert after a meal. Saliva production increases during mealtimes, helping to rinse away food particles and bacteria. Each time we eat something sugary, bacteria in the mouth produces acids that cause tooth decay, so by limiting the length of time our teeth are under attack we can reduce the risk of cavities.
Choose nuts and cheese
Not all festive foods are bad for your teeth – nuts are a good source of calcium and phosphorous (the minerals needed to build strong bones and teeth) and stimulate saliva production to keep the mouth clean. Cheese contains the same beneficial qualities and also helps to balance the pH level in your mouth, neutralising harmful acids and reducing the risk of tooth decay.
Watch your fizz intake
Breaking out the bubbly is a regular occurrence over the winter holidays, but too much can result in what some dentists have dubbed the ‘prosecco smile’. A combination of high acidity levels, sugar, and carbonation means that prosecco is bad news for teeth and drinking too much can lead to sensitivity and enamel erosion (not to mention a sizeable hangover!) You can minimise the risk by alternating glasses of fizz with glasses of water and enjoying prosecco and other carbonated drinks in moderation.
Avoid festive dental disasters
Spending Boxing Day in the emergency room is probably not on your festive to-do list, so be kind to your teeth. Don’t use them as nutcrackers, avoid using them to tear strips of sticky tape while you’re wrapping presents, and watch out for boisterous children or overenthusiastic pets when you’re raising a glass to your lips.
Maintain your regular oral hygiene routine
A flurry of visitors, parties, work engagements and school activities can throw off even the most organised individual over the festive period but keeping a regular dental hygiene routine is vital for healthy teeth and gums. Make sure you brush twice a day, floss at least once, and keep on top of any routine dental appointments.
To keep your teeth healthy over the holidays, book a check-up appointment here at Cliftonville. We are open 6 days a week and have evening appointments available for your convenience.