Maintaining Good Oral Health This Christmas
Christmas is the time for seeing family and friends, indulging in your favourite festive treats and celebrating the start of a new year. It’s the time to have fun and relax, as a much-anticipated change from normal daily routine. However, with all the festivities and change many people forget to maintain their oral health routine during the period, which could have a long-lasting impact on their teeth and mouth.
Maintaining good oral health over Christmas is important for keeping your pearly whites looking and feeling great for the new year, and for your overall health too. Here is our guide on looking after your teeth and gums so that they’re ready for the mistletoe!
If you’re staying away
With the excitement of staying with family or friends over the Christmas holidays, it’s easy to forget the basics - toothbrush included. Make sure to pick one up from the local shops if you find you’ve left yours at home, however if this isn’t an option it might be best to rinse your mouth with water after each meal and avoid too many sugary foods. But, to ensure that you can enjoy eating the foods you want whilst avoiding that horrible feeling of unclean teeth in the morning, why not prepare by keeping a travel toothbrush and toothpaste in your bag?
Stick to your oral health routine
With all the partying that’s likely in store you may feel too tired or forget to brush your teeth at the end of the night. Don’t let this become a habit over Christmas - not properly brushing your teeth before you sleep increases the risk of you developing tooth decay or other oral health problems. If you think you’ll forget, leave your toothbrush and keep a glass of water out by your bed to remind you. Cleaning your teeth is one of the best things you can do to preserve good oral health. You’ll thank us in the morning!
Whatever you do, don’t use your teeth to open any bottles or even wrapping paper during Christmas or all year round. Doing so could damage your teeth and lead to a trip to an emergency dentist, which isn't the best way to spend your holiday. If you’ll be eating any hard foods such as candy canes or raw vegetables, just be careful when chewing them to avoid damaging your teeth - which brings us to our next tip:
Foods to avoid
Christmas is full of them - yule logs, minced pies, Christmas puddings, chocolates and sweets - but sugary foods can be frightful for your oral health. This is because the bacteria in your mouth feeds on sugar to speed up acid production, which can erode your tooth enamel and cause cavities to appear in your teeth. We’re not saying that you can’t indulge in these treats, however try to have them in moderation. It’s a good idea to rinse your mouth with water after eating sugary things to reduce the levels of sugar and acid in the mouth.
In the same way, sticky, chewy foods can lodge between the teeth and you may not be able to easily rinse them away. Again, leaving them there could also lead to increased acids in the mouth which strip the protective layer of the teeth. We’d recommend thoroughly cleaning your teeth with a toothbrush and flossing after eating sticky foods to avoid this, especially if you’re wearing braces.
Did you know that cheese is good for the teeth? It helps to restore the acid balance in the mouth to reduce the risks of tooth decay. If you like cheese, it’s a good excuse for the Christmas cheeseboard!
Drinking for your oral health
Christmas is the season to be merry and many of us may enjoy a bit of wine, bubbly or other alcoholic beverages to share the festive cheer. Those of us not consuming alcohol may also enjoy having more soft drinks, yet all of these drinks may be acidic or high in sugar. As we know this is not good for your oral health, and to limit the damage caused during the holidays it’s advisable to swish water around your mouth after consuming other beverages to wash the sugars and acid away. Sugar-free gum is also a helpful way to encourage saliva flow and neutralise the mouth.
Hopefully these tips will keep your teeth and gums in top form over the holidays. However if you’re worried about your oral health or you’d like to know more about maintaining good oral health over Christmas, you can speak to our experienced team. To book an appointment, please call 0161 998 2622, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Blue Horizons