Christmas is the time of year when we all want to look and feel our best. December is peak party season; the ideal time to rock the frock and get gorgeous from head to toe. Christmas and glam celebs were made for each other. The festive season is the perfect backdrop for that slinky LBD, some immaculate makeup – and a killerwatt smile. But ‘film-star’ teeth need lots of TLC to stay merry and bright throughout the Christmas period. So don’t let the festivities lead to oral health neglect. It’s important to maintain your usual home care routine if you want to maintain that celebrity-style smile. Follow our must-read guide on how to look after your teeth this Christmas:
Make time to brush and floss
We all know there are never enough hours in the day at Christmas. There are countless jobs to tick off, places to be and things to organise. We’re creatures of habit and rely on our usual routines more than we realise. So if you’re rushing around from the moment you wake up, it’s surprisingly easy to forget to clean your teeth! It can be even more tempting to skip that brush after a late evening out. But there could be serious repercussions for your teeth and gums if you don’t clean them regularly over Christmas. It takes minutes to brush and floss properly. Resolve to clean your teeth as soon as you wake up, to avoid forgetting. And don’t let your head hit the pillow at night unless you’ve done that final clean! Why not put a new toothbrush on your Christmas list to give your brushing a boost?
Beware of festive fare
We realise that for many of us, Christmas is all about the food. Unfortunately, most festive fare is laden is sugar, which just isn’t good for your teeth (or your waistline!). We know that mince pies and Christmas pudding are difficult to resist. If you must indulge (and it’s almost impossible not to), do so in moderation. Above all, don’t continuously graze. Grazing delivers a steady drip-feed of sugar to your teeth, and it’s a key cause of tooth decay. How often you consume sugar is just as important as the amount. Every time we eat a sweet treat, our mouths produce acid, which attacks your tooth enamel. So indulge yourself in one sitting, or as part of a meal, rather than snacking throughout the day. This is one of the best ways to look after your teeth this Christmas.Image: festive food
Take care with your toffees
In addition to being full of sugar, toffees are a tooth hazard if you’ve had certain types of dental work done. Anything that’s sticky and chewy has the ability to damage fillings, crowns and veneers. So step away from that Quality Street Toffee Penny to look after your teeth this Christmas, if you don’t want to risk your dental restoration. For the same reason, take care when consuming Christmas nuts. And don’t even contemplate crunching that ice in your Christmas cocktail. The cold will feel very unpleasant if you have sensitive teeth. And biting into ice can crack and chip even the healthiest of molars. It can also damage fillings and crowns.
Be parsimonious with the Prosecco….
With regard to festive drinks, for many people Prosecco is still top of the pops. But if you overdo the bubbles, your teeth will pay the price. Prosecco combines alcohol, sugar and acid – all of which play a key role in enamel erosion. That’s why fizzy drinks (both soft and alcoholic) can be just as damaging to your teeth as sugary snacks. To minimise the effects and look after your teeth this Christmas, alternate your bubbles with water (your liver will thank you, too!). Certain foods can also help to minimise ‘acid attacks’ and protect your teeth enamel.
…but don’t stint on the cheese!
Good news! That Christmas cheeseboard isn’t just a delicious treat. Cheese is one of the few festive indulgences your dentist will approve of. The reason why? Cheese excels are reducing the acid levels in your mouth after eating. This in turn helps to reduces the likelihood of tooth decay. So crack out the Cheddar and celebrate with Stilton. That post-dinner cheeseboard is one of the most pleasurable ways to protect your smile this season!
Never use your teeth to multi-task
We know that sometimes it’s tempting to use your teeth as tools. Resist. Your teeth are for biting and chewing food – and nothing else. They should not be used to help you wrap Christmas presents. Tearing sticky tape with your teeth is just asking for trouble. It’s a sure-fire way to weaken or even crack your teeth so this is a big no if you want to look after your teeth this Christmas. And if you have crowns or veneers, they could also be damaged or even dislodged. Don’t risk it. Treat yourself to a tape dispenser and protect your pearly whites. Invest in a nutcracker if you’re batty about Brazils. And never, ever use your teeth to open bottles.
Supervise the excitement levels
You might not be aware of it, but Christmas mouth injuries are A Thing. The combination of not enough sleep and too much alcohol understandably produce accidents. But they aren’t the only factors. Overexcited children are prone to jumping around, which can lead to nasty knocks to your mouth or jaw. So take steps to calm things down and supervise some quiet time, if necessary. This is just another easy way in which you can look after your teeth this Christmas. Make sure you keep an eye on pets too, especially larger dogs. And allow plenty of room for the more active traditional Christmas games, such as charades.
Regular visits to your dentist are the best way to look after your teeth all year round, not just at Christmas. At the Lighthouse Dental Practice our expert team is led by Dental Surgeons Dr Tocca and Dr Griffin. They are supported by our qualified dental nurses and knowledgeable practice receptionist. For enquiries, or to make an appointment, please call our practice on 01473 257379.