After a year that has been completely like any other, it seems slightly surreal that Christmas is looming large on the horizon. At this time of year, it is important not to forget to spare a thought for your teeth as mince pies, Christmas cake, chocolates and sweets make their way into our festive diets.
At this time of year there is an inevitable increase in sweet foods and chocolate consumption, and that is why the team at Benfleet Dental Centre have put together 5 top tips to protect your teeth from ho-ho-holes and avoid festive dental emergencies.
Consider including sugar free sweets
You are not the only one that loves sugar, so do the bacteria in your mouth that cause tooth decay. When you eat sugary foods, the bacteria produce acids that eat away at your teeth causing cavities. By picking sugar free sweets you are reducing the food available for the bacteria. Cannot bear to part with those sugary treats, try to keep them for mealtimes to reduce the damage caused to teeth.
Beware dried fruits
During the drying process, the sugars present in the fruits are concentrated. This means that a holiday favourite such as dates can contain as much as 63g of sugar in every 100g, which can be more than is in some chocolate bars! This is true whether they are eaten individually or in mince pies, Christmas cake or pudding. Dried fruits will provide sugars for the bacteria in your mouth to feed on causing decay and cavities and due to the way, they stick to teeth, they can provide a source of food for many hours after you have eaten them.
Cheese is great for teeth. It helps to return the mouth to its natural pH balance and reduces the risks of tooth decay. That is why an end of dinner cheeseboard is a great idea. Sugar free chewing gum can have the same effect, although this is best left until you get down from the table!
Teeth are not tools
Many people end up damaging their teeth as they use them to tear Sellotape, open beer bottles or crack open nuts. Always ensure that you have a pair of scissors, bottle opener and a nut-cracker handy, or you may be asking your dentist for a new set of teeth, come January.
Do not forget your oral hygiene
During the festivities, it is very easy for your regular oral hygiene routine to go a bit awry! This Christmas be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste and use interdental aids to clean between your teeth daily.
All the team at Benfleet Dental Centre would like to wish our patients a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to seeing you all in the new year and should you need anything over the festive period do not hesitate to contact the surgery on 01702 557766.