Christmastime is finally here, which means some very exciting times are shortly ahead of us all–but not so much for our smiles.
Amid the flurry of Christmas markets, parties and family gatherings, it can be easy to neglect your oral health. But taking care of your teeth during the festive season is just as important as it is at any other time of the year. If not, even more so.
If you’re interested in maintaining a healthy smile and avoiding dental issues in the new year, here are a few tips from our dentists on caring for your teeth this Christmas.
How to Care For Your Teeth This Christmas:
1) Brush your teeth at least twice daily
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by the number of people who get so caught up in festive activities that they forget to brush their teeth properly, especially before bed. Despite this, diligently maintaining your oral hygiene routine is vital for keeping your mouth healthy. Be sure to brush twice daily in the morning and before bed for two minutes, and remember to floss. We advise you use a soft-bristled toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste and gently brush your teeth and gums. This will help remove any plaque build-up on your teeth after consuming sweet foods and beverages and prevent tooth decay.
Remember: Brushing your teeth straight after consuming sweet treats is not a good idea because your tooth enamel will be soft and sensitive at this time. It’s best to wait at least an hour before cleaning your teeth to prevent brushing away at your protective enamel.
2) Consume Sugary Foods And Beverages In Moderation
We’re not going to be grinches and tell you not to indulge in the foods and drinks you enjoy. However, consuming excessive amounts of sugary food and beverages without sufficient cleaning is a leading cause of tooth decay. Simple sugars feed the bacteria in your mouth and produce acids that can cause tooth decay and erosion. For this reason, we suggest you swap some sweeter treats with healthier, low-sugar snacks such as carrot sticks, hummus, proteins and cheeses.
Cheese boards are always the perfect festive addition to your table. Cheese is also excellent for oral health because it contains calcium, phosphates and casein. These minerals are essential for strong, healthy teeth as calcium helps to build and maintain your tooth enamel, while phosphates help the body to use calcium to promote healthy tooth enamel. Cheese is also high in protein, which stimulates saliva production to wash away harmful bacteria and acids. If savoury snacks or cheeses aren’t your thing, drink a glass of water to wash away any harmful bacteria instead.
3) Drink Plenty Of Water
With this in mind, it’s essential to drink plenty of water when consuming sweet snacks or alcoholic beverages to rinse harmful food particles and bacteria from your mouth and keep you hydrated. Try to drink at least eight cups a day.
Alcoholic drinks are bad for oral health because they’re often a mixture of corrosive spirits and high-sugar mixers that you leisurely sip on. As you sip, you’re extending the time these sugars can attack and damage your teeth. Alcohol can also leave you feeling dehydrated, causing dry mouth. Saliva performs many vital functions for our mouths, such as washing away bacteria and ensuring that our mouths remain at a balanced PH level. Without saliva, harmful bacteria will build on your teeth, causing plaque formation and decay. That’s why it’s important to drink water while consuming a glass of wine or alcoholic mixer.
4) Drink Low-Sugar Alcoholic Beverages
On alcohol, it’s best to stick to low-sugar alcoholic beverages such as light beer or a gin and tonic. We also suggest avoiding dark beers (stouts) and red wine, as these drinks cause heavy staining.
5) Ask For An Electric Toothbrush For Christmas
We recommend the Ordo Sonic+ Ultrasonic Toothbrush, designed and approved by dentists with four different brushing modes, including a mode for sensitive teeth.
6) Be Careful With Hard Sweets, Candy Canes And Nuts
Hard sweets, candy canes and nuts can damage your teeth. There’s nothing worse than needing to visit an emergency dentist over the festive period because of a cracked tooth or damaged filling. So be careful when consuming these foods, and avoid them if you have dental work such as braces or crowns.
If you’re going to have a sweet treat this Christmas, stick to chocolate, preferably dark chocolate. Chocolate is an excellent choice as it can easily be washed away with a glass of water. Whereas, some sticky sweets take longer to chew and adhere to the teeth, promoting tooth decay.
7) Schedule Your Routine Visit For The New Year
Make sure to schedule your dental visits for the new year, so we can clean and monitor your teeth and provide advice on how to care for them. We recommend that you visit your dentist at least once a year. It’s also a good idea to visit the hygienist for a deep clean to ensure your mouth is healthy.
Following these helpful tips allows you to enjoy the festive season without worrying about damaging your oral health. Remember to brush regularly, drink lots of water and schedule your appointment to see us soon. But most of all, we hope you have a lovely Christmas, and we look forward to seeing you all in the new year.
Looking for a Private Dentist in Northampton? Cliftonville Dental Delivers Clinical Excellence Focused On Your Needs.
As a leading private dental practice, we provide a high-standard, altogether better dental experience in Northampton, run by people who care for you and your smile.
Our clinic is open six days a week, including evenings, so you can book an appointment that fits around your schedule.
If you’d like to join us in the new year, contact our friendly reception team online or by calling us at 01604 604545.