21st December 2012
We all love Christmas time – getting together with friends and family, massive feasts and tons of tasty nibbles.
At such a festive time of year it’s easy to understand that mundane things such as caring for your teeth go out the window, but nevertheless the winter holidays are a prime time for teeth to run the risk of damage due to the seasonally high consumption of sweets, cookies and what not.
This guide will give you some useful information and tips to help you give your teeth some Christmas care.
Quality Streets and other sweet favourites are decidedly delicious, but you’d be surprised how many patients we get at this time of year whose enthusiasm has unfortunately resulted in lost fillings. Even if for most part of the year you steer clear of over-indulging, we’ve had a lot of people saying such things as in “I don’t normally eat toffees but the tub was passed round the office and then ‘crunch’.” Do be mindful of this, as we’re sure you have better things to be doing over the festive season then getting a filling replacement.
Christmas nuts are also a prime culprit for cracking teeth, so this is another thing to be careful of during your celebrations.
In addition, while Christmas crackers are always perfect for adding extra pizazz to the traditional dinner feast, we get a surprising number of patients coming in because they were overzealous when trying to get their cracker open and ended up with a cracked tooth for their efforts. So be careful.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without over indulging on loads of delicious sweet things. To make matters worse, along with a major increase in eating sweets which can easily erode your tooth enamel, it’s a common time of year to fall asleep without brushing which in turn makes the risk of teeth damage far worse.
Not only do sweet things attack the enamel that protects your teeth, also bear in mind that drinks such as red wine or coffees and liqueurs will cause staining of your pearly whites if you neglect to brush fairly soon after consumption.
To keep your smile in tip top condition, it’s important to keep on track with your regular dental routine during the festive season, if not a slightly stepped-up regime by paying closer attention to how and when you brush as well as floss your teeth.
It’s also a good idea to drink lots of water in-between eating and drinking all the festive treats, since this will help wash away the harmful bacteria and acids which cause enamel damage.
You certainly don’t want to start the New Year with dental pain, lost fillings or unsightly stains. Remember that dental decay (which occurs when acid produced by bacteria attacks the protective coating of the enamel that covers each tooth) can go unnoticed at first, because enamel has no nerve endings. This means that while you might not feel any damage being done as you enjoy your festive celebrations, problems could be brewing behind the scenes if you don’t look after your teeth.