Have you been naughty or nice to your teeth this year? Regardless of the answer, the silly season is a time to take care of them. Most people will eat more sugary foods, and many celebrations involve alcohol. With a bit of thought and planning, you can maintain a healthy smile over Christmas.
It’s Not How Much Sugar It’s When You Eat It
Timing is everything as the longer sugar remains on your teeth, the greater the damage. Ideally, indulge in sweet treats at mealtimes as your mouth produces more saliva, helping to neutralise acids produced by bacteria. Saliva also helps to wash away food particles.
Choose Sugary Treats That Are Kinder to Teeth
Sticky sweets like caramels and toffees can be difficult to remove by regular brushing and flossing. Harder treats can even crack or chip teeth. Instead, choose chocolate that melts easily and afterwards rinse your mouth with water.
Be Careful with Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol consumption dehydrates the mouth, increasing your risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Also, excess alcohol consumption is linked with a higher risk of oral cancer, and especially if you smoke. When you do enjoy a drink, follow it with a cool, refreshing glass of water.