Your Christmas Guide To Good Oral Health
The festive season can be a time when good habits go out of the window….
By the time you read this blog, many of you will probably be in full swing of preparing for Christmas. Especially if you have children, the ‘to do’ and ‘to buy’ lists can seem endless. Both in the busy run up to Christmas and the holiday period itself, the way that we look after our teeth can often slip.
This need not necessarily cause any long term damage, but extending this lack of care, as well as some increased risks of holiday accidents, certainly can. In today’s blog, Greenwich dentist, Dr Krina Patel (GDC 192609) offers some useful tips for keeping your teeth and gums in good condition over the holiday period.
Moderate your eating habits
Not even the strictest dentist would expect you to deny yourself the pleasures of some indulgent Christmas food. It does pay though, to keep an eye on what you are eating and drinking. Try to keep your sugar intake down as much as possible, however many boxes of chocolates you receive as presents!
Mind the alcohol
Again, the Confidental Clinic team respect the fact that many people like to drink more at Christmas. We have noted before, the risk of problems such as gum disease and even oral cancers that are increased through excess alcohol consumption. Try to balance your alcohol intake with plenty of water, your head will thank you for it the next day.
For some people, Christmas is the only time of the year that they drink much at all. Although this is positive from the point of view of overall alcohol consumption, it can mean that those who are not used to drinking are at an increased risk of accidents through falls and collisions. Indeed, most dental practices will see a few patients after the Christmas period who need emergency care for tooth damage received in this way.
Your Christmas present list
If you find that friends and relatives are constantly asking you what you would like for Christmas and you really don’t know, why not use this opportunity to stock up on some tooth friendly products, such as these below.
- Electric toothbrush – a great way to clean your teeth effectively and which also reduces the risk of brushing too hard, avoiding enamel damage
- Sugar free sweets – If you want to join in but not harm your teeth (or body) with excessive sugar consumption, this is a great way to do it
- Cheeses – not only an alternative to sweets, but also a great way to finish a meal as the alkalinity helps to re-balance the environment in your mouth, making it less acidic
- Toothbrush timers – If you have young children, a cartoon character timer can help to encourage them to clean their teeth for the recommended 2 minutes each time they brush
- Toothbrush holder – Not as irrelevant as you might think. Many people store their toothbrush in close proximity to the toilet. This means that germs and other ‘deposits’ can come into contact with your toothbrush. A toothbrush holder can help you to store it further away
- For stocking fillers, why not pop in some dental floss and sugar free gum, both great ways of removing excess ‘bad’ bacteria from the mouth
Keep up with your regular cleaning routine
The excitement and hectic atmosphere of Christmas day may well lead us to bad habits such as eating chocolate for breakfast, and can easily lead us to forget to clean our teeth in the morning. The ongoing snacking of high sugar food and drinks throughout the day means that it is very important that we don’t neglect cleaning our teeth. This is especially important at night and, however tired you are, do try to remember to brush your teeth, and floss too if possible.
Pass the port
Whilst sugar is also present in most alcoholic drinks, when it comes to rich and dark coloured drinks such as port and red wine, another issue that arises is that of stained teeth. Red wine is well known to cause this and if you drink it regularly and have suffered as a result, you may wish to consider having a teeth bleaching enhancement at our Greenwich practice. In fact, why not ask for it as a Christmas present!
If you don’t smoke or have stopped, don’t let Christmas be an excuse to let this slip. It can be all too easy to have a ‘celebratory’ cigar to mark the season, but this can soon lead ex smokers especially, to gradually start again. Having made the difficult decision to not smoke, don’t let this slip because of temptation.
We hope that you are all looking forward to the Christmas break and that none of our Confidental Clinic patients need the services of an emergency dentist over the festive period. Our practice will be closed during public holidays, but if you do have a dental emergency, please call our usual number of 020 8858 1422 for information about what to do next.