How to take care of your teeth over the holidays

How to take care of your teeth over the holidays

It’s important that you look after your teeth and gums this festive season.

The festive season is a time for celebration, and with that comes temptation in the form of sweet snacks and drinks. While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the occasional treat, it’s important to strike a balance for the sake of your overall health. When it comes to your teeth and gums, there are a few things it’s best to try and avoid.

Enjoy starchy foods in moderation

Starchy foods tend to stick to the surface of the teeth, as well as between the teeth and gums, exposing the enamel to harmful acids for extended periods of time. Many of the usual festive treats tend to be starchy, refined carbohydrates, such as chips, sweet baked goods and breads — when we eat these types of foods, bacteria in the mouth feeds on the leftover particles, producing acids that can damage the teeth and lead to decay. If you do enjoy some starchy snacks from time to time, try and remember to drink plenty of water afterwards to rinse your mouth of food debris, and be sure to brush your teeth around half an hour or so after your meal or snack if you can.

Avoid hard and sticky candies

Hard candies that stay in the mouth for a long time can cause some serious harm to the teeth because the teeth are exposed to the sugars for extended periods. Some candies that are best avoided include lollipops, candy canes, boiled sweets and hard mints. Similarly, sticky candies tend to get stuck to the surface of the teeth, exposing the enamel to harmful acids, which can lead to issues like decay and cavities. Some common culprits include caramel, toffee and other chewy sweets.

Limit sugary drinks and alcohol

Watch out for beverages that contain large amounts of sugar as these can be harmful to your oral health. Sodas and sweetened fruit juices tend to contain a lot of sugar, so enjoy these in moderation only or opt instead for water as much as possible. Another festive favourite that is often high in sugar is eggnog — rinse your mouth out with water after drinking this sweet treat to limit the contact time with your teeth.

Alcoholic drinks also tend to be high in sugar, plus many of them are also very acidic. White wine and prosecco, for example, are acidic and can be harmful to the enamel. Just be mindful of this when choosing your holiday drinks and balance these types of beverages with plenty of water.

Don’t forget about your oral hygiene

If you’re travelling or attending lots of holiday events, it can be difficult to stick to your normal routines, but it is very important that you maintain healthy oral hygiene habits throughout the festive season. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day, and remember to floss daily. Also, if you haven’t been in to see us for a while, it’s a good idea to schedule a dental check-up and clean to make sure that your teeth are in good health. If you have any oral health issues, our team will recommend the best course of action for your needs and advise you on how best to improve the condition of your teeth and gums.

If you would like any help in getting your oral health on track, or are ready to make an appointment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our team understands that oral health can play a major role in your general health and lifestyle, and looks forward to welcoming you to our practice!