The festive countdown has well and truly begun and ‘tis the season to eat, drink, and be merry. Taking care of your teeth is probably fairly low on your priority list this month, but the last thing you want spoiling your fun is an emergency trip to the dentist. Here’s how to keep your teeth in sparkling condition over the festive period.
Don’t use teeth as tools!
When you’ve left present wrapping until the very last minute it can be tempting to save time by ripping off strips of sticky tape with your teeth. However, this is an easy way to weaken your teeth or even dislodge a veneer or a crown. Keep a pair of scissors handy or even better, invest in a tape dispenser. While you’re shopping for utensils, make sure you pick up a nutcracker too – breaking open a walnut with your teeth is a common way to crack a molar.
With numerous food-focused events over the festive period, it’s common to find yourself snacking throughout the day – a habit that is particularly bad for your teeth if you’re choosing sugary treats because when bacteria in the mouth breaks down sugar it produces acid that causes tooth decay. You don’t have to cut out sugar completely but limiting yourself to only eating sugar as part of a meal or one-off treat rather than grazing throughout the day will minimise the damage you do to your teeth.
Limit your prosecco consumption
Indulging in a glass of fizz or two is to be expected over the Christmas holidays, but overindulging can lead to what some dentists have dubbed a ‘prosecco smile.’ High acidity levels (prosecco has a pH balance of around 3), combined with a high sugar content, make prosecco as damaging to your teeth as soda and energy drinks. You can reduce the damage you inflict on your teeth by drinking water in between glasses and waiting at least an hour after your last tipple before you brush your teeth.
One of the few festive indulgences that is actually good for your teeth is a chunk or two of cheese – calcium-rich and high in phosphates, cheese also helps balance the pH levels in your mouth, which can counteract the harmful acidic effects of all that prosecco.
Watch out for dancefloor collisions
Taking your glass with you while you brave the dancefloor during the office Christmas party might seem like a good idea at the time, but a flying elbow can result in someone accidentally knocking it into your teeth. Being careful in crowded social situations can help to avoid emergency dental visits during the festive season.
To make sure your teeth stay in excellent condition over the festive period, book yourself in for a check-up appointment at our St Albans practice. We offer early morning and late evening appointments to suit your schedule.