7 Festive Oral Health Tips
Posted by: Jodie Blades Diploma Level 3 in Dental Nursing
Medically reviewed by: Dr Adeel Nazir BDS(Lond) MJDF RCS MScEndo(KCL) GDC: 104024 | General and Endodontic Dentist
Our Oral Health Tips for taking care of your teeth at Christmas!
For many, Christmas is a time of over-indulging, spending time your nearest and dearest and enjoying delicious treats and the festivities. You’ll be forgiven for not making your oral health top of your priority list – we’ve written a few festive oral health tips to help you keep your teeth clean, your crowns in place and to avoid any rapid decay.
Festive Oral Health Tip 1: Be Mindful Of Grazing All Day!
With so many delicious treats at your fingertips for days on end, it’s very easy to find yourself almost continuously grazing over the festive period. However, this constant exposure to sugar throughout the day can contribute to rapid development of tooth decay. As with Easter, our Oral Health Tip is to polish off your chocolate coins or Terry’s chocolate orange in one sitting! Or as part of your dessert, rather than opening it at breakfast and grazing on it throughout the day.
Mind those big, tempting tins of chocolates too! We’d suggest grabbing a handful no more than 3 times a day or at meal times! Every time we have something sugary, bacteria in our mouths produce acids that can cause tooth decay. If you’re continually snacking, your teeth will be under constant attack. Most people think it’s the volume of sugar you eat that damages your teeth, but it’s actually the frequency of sugar attacks that is the issue.
Festive Oral Health Tip 2: Don’t Use Your Teeth As Tools!
Beer bottles, Nuts, Sticky Tape, Ribbon, Tags… There are SO many reasons we’ve seen broken and fractured teeth and lost and damaged crowns and veneers. Don’t be tempted to use your teeth as a tool! There’s real tools for each of these jobs. If you have veneers or crowns then you’ll need to be especially aware of tearing tape with your teeth. The edge-to-edge force that’s applied will leave you wanting your two front teeth for Christmas!
Festive Oral Health Tip 3: Put Dental Floss On Your Dinner Table!
That pesky food trap that ALWAYS catches fibrous meats or your fixed bonded retainer that just loves to keep hold of nuts, seeds and pips – we get it! It’s a nightmare and it’s annoying! But, fishing food our from between your teeth with improvised bits of plastic or card can actually result in gum damage and subsequent gum infections. This will result in you needing and emergency appointment over the holidays!
If you’re at home then excuse yourself to nip to the bathroom and safely remove the troublesome food with floss or an interdental brush. If you’re hosting – then have floss or interdental brushes readily available for your guests. (We all have that one family member that suffers with food trapping and spends the last 20mins of a meal with all sorts in their mouth trying to hoick it out!)
Festive Oral Health Tip 4: Don’t bother with the Toffees!
Do you have any crowns or large fillings? Yes? Just pick another chocolate from the box! Toffees are notorious for pulling out even the most secure and well-bonded restorations. They form a vacuum around the restoration and the forces you apply when chewing are more than we would use to pull them out when we want to! Our advice is “Don’t Bother with the Toffees!“
Festive Oral Health Tip 5: Water after alcohol, always!
Who doesn’t love a Christmas tipple? Bucks-fizz for brekkie, Bubbles with Lunch, Wine with your Christmas dinner and a Irish Cream Liqueur or Irish Coffee in the evening with dessert… Many alcohols have not only a very high acidity level, but a huge amount of sugar as well. Always follow your alcoholic beverage with a little glass of water to try and help neutralise your saliva PH levels and protect your teeth against decay.
Festive Oral Health Tip 6: Watch those Festive Lattes!!
In the full swing of festive hot drink season, all the major coffee chains have released their own options for 2020 – from Quality Street-inspired lattes to a Truffle Deluxe Hot Chocolate, as well as the old-faithful Gingerbread Latte. But it’s often difficult to keep track of and compare which ones are packing the largest amount of sugar. Some contain more than twice your recommended daily intake!
Festive Oral Health Tip 7: Don’t Skip your Brushing!
We know the kids will be up at 4:30am desperate to see if Santa has eaten the mince pies, if Rudolf enjoyed his carrot and if there are indeed presents under the tree – but, don’t let the early start wreck your routine! If you don’t have kids – don’t let your lay in mess with your morning oral health routine either. You must brush your teeth before you dive into your Christmas treats.
And, we look forward to snoozing with a full tummy in front of the Christmas television too – but don’t bypass the bathroom and roll from the couch straight to your bed! Brushing your teeth thoroughly twice a day is really important after a day of sugar packed treats!
Need to give your teeth the once over before Christmas?