Take Care Of Your Teeth This Christmas

Have fun, but don’t let overindulgence compromise your oral health!

Woman flossing teethChristmas is just around the corner and it’s a great time of year when we can get together with family and friends. Many of us will probably let our hair down a little more than usual and perhaps suffer the consequences the next morning!

Of course there is nothing wrong with enjoying ourselves at this time of the year, but it is important that we don’t let our teeth and gums suffer because of it.

There are a few things that we sometimes do (or don’t do) over the holiday period that could have a detrimental effect on our mouth health. So in today’s blog, we offer our Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic, tooth friendly guide to Christmas!

Snack healthily

If you have been around the shops in Canterbury, you can’t help but have noticed all the extra sugary goodies on sale. Whether sweets, chocolates, cakes or biscuits, all that additional sugar is not good for our teeth (or our waistline).

Instead of the extra chocolates and sweets, why not snack on more tooth friendly foods such as nuts, cheese and vegetable dips over the holiday period? Chocolate can be very nice but we can have too much of a good thing. As we know, high sugar consumption is very likely to lead to tooth decay if it continues over a period of time.

Cigarettes and alcohol

Although fewer people now smoke, there is usually at least one in a group of people that does. Sometimes this is all it takes for an ex smoker to be tempted to start again. The idea of just having one cigarette in order to be social may work for some, but especially for those who found it hard to stop, accepting just one could light the touchpaper that leads you back to smoking on a regular basis.  It really isn’t worth it. In addition to the significant cost, smoking will greatly increase your risk gum disease and even oral cancer.

The same can be said about alcohol consumption. Most of us will be fine if we drink in moderation, but for those who drink regularly or excessively, this can create serious oral health issues.  By all means, have a drink to celebrate Christmas and the New Year, but do monitor your drinking and alternate it with soft drinks, preferably water rather than those high in sugar.

There is another risk associated with alcohol consumption and any visit to an A&E department on a weekend night will show you what that is. Accidents and falls are much more likely if we have drunk too much. We may only drink to any degree at Christmas, but you can fall or collide with objects just as easily as at any other time of the year. Broken teeth or even teeth that are knocked out, are not an uncommon sight at dental practices just after Christmas. Please try to make sure that it doesn’t happen to you.

Maintain good oral health

Especially if you have children and are having a family get together, not only are there presents to buy and wrap but food to prepare as well. Add to that the constant need to entertain the kids and it is not surprising that some of us will be completely exhausted by the time they have gone to bed and the evening is winding down.

This is a potentially dangerous time for our teeth as, having probably eaten far more sugar than normal, we are too tired to clean our teeth and go straight to bed. The combination of teeth coated in sugar and a dry mouth caused by alcohol consumption is a problem waiting to happen. The sugar can cause decay and a dry mouth is a known contributor to gum disease.

However tired you are feeling, do make an effort to clean your teeth well. No quick brushing or a quick swill with mouthwash. You need to brush your teeth for 2 minutes and also floss between them to remove food deposits and bacteria. All of this takes less than 5 minutes and even at the end of a very tiring day, we are sure that most people can manage to do that.

Emergency dental care

Even with the best care in the world, accidents do happen and there will inevitably be some people who will need emergency dental care over the holiday period. As, like most dentists, we will be closed for some of this time, it may not be possible to see you for a few days. If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in this situation, you should call our number ( 01227 463529 ) as normal. There will be a recorded message providing further advice on what you should do next.

We wish all of our Canterbury patients a safe and Happy Christmas and New Year and look forward to seeing you at the Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic in the New Year.