Dental Tips For A Healthy Christmas

The holiday season is under-way and now more than ever we are tempted by chocolate sweets and bubbly treats that are difficult to resist and avoid.

Like anything, moderation is key and there are a few things you can do this Christmas time to help minimise the risk of dental decay in the New Year.

Follow a good daily routine like the one we have below to help those pearly whites through the festive season.

Our Healthy Christmas Tips

  1. Brush regularly but not aggressively. Brushing too hard will cause damage to the enamel and gums.
  2. Use fluoride as this can help prevent cavities. It is a common ingredient in most toothpaste and mouth washes.
  3. Floss daily. This will help remove any plaque and bacteria build up from between the teeth where a toothbrush may not be able to reach.
  4. Avoid smoking. Smoking can be a big risk factor for gum disease. It can also cause discolouration to your teeth and tongue and can give you bad breath.
  5. Limit snacking. It can seem like all you do is eat and drink over Christmas and Boxing Day so be mindful of what you are eating between meals. Try and stick to more tooth friendly options such as fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, low sugar yoghurts and make sure you drink plenty of water.
  6. Some of our most favourite Christmas treats have a lot of sugar. Christmas pudding is often forgotten, but the dried fruits in this Christmas dessert are chock full of it and tend to stick to the teeth. Candy canes are one of the worst Christmas treat culprits- they are sticky, sweet and tend to be sucked on and licked extending the acid and sugar exposure to the teeth. Choose more tooth friendly stocking fillers like softer, easy to chew lollies, or consider a plain milk chocolate (like a Freddo frog). It’s even better than a lolly as it doesn’t stick to teeth at all, it flows off nicely, and the kids love them.
  7. Be careful with your choice of beverage. Soft drinks, champagne and wine are full of sugar and acid that can damage your teeth and cause staining. Limit consumption, drink water between glasses and finish off with some cheese and nuts. The increased saliva production and calcium exposure will help neutralise sugars and acids to help protect your teeth and strengthen enamel.
  8. Wait to brush. While it’s tempting to run for the toothbrush to remove all traces of a good time straight after consumption, remember that some types of foods and drink can soften enamel, so being too quick to clean can mean you could be brushing away the protective enamel on your teeth. Wait a while and brush for a good two minutes before going to bed after all the Christmas feasts. Good brushing will lead to healthier teeth and your mouth will feel much cleaner and fresher. By looking after your teeth effectively, you will be doing all you can to prevent oral health problems in the future.
  9. Use a bottle opener- not your teeth! Your teeth are not tools and are designed for speaking, eating and smiling- don’t risk that to open your beer or wine. Don’t let a broken tooth ruin your Christmas.

Most importantly, have a safe and happy Christmas.