Tips for a Healthy Christmas with No Dental Problems

The Christmas songs are playing, our houses are full of delicious food and you’re finally relaxing for a couple of weeks.. What could be better?

The last thing you want is to chip your tooth and need emergency dental care over the festive period! This season provides the perfect opportunity to indulge, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect your oral health. Also keep COVID free this Christmas by avoiding the 3 C’s – crowded places, close-contact settings and confined/enclosed spaces. Follow government guidelines on social mixing, mask-wearing and vaccinations.

Avoid the three C's

Image – World Health Organization

Maintain your white smile this Christmas…

  • Remember to brush twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste (aged 2+). Don’t take a break from brushing your teeth, even for a single day. You should brush twice a day and you could even add an extra brushing session during the day, if you’ve really gone to town on the cookies & mince pies.
  • Enjoy moderation! In the risk of sounding like the Grinch, try and be mindful of the amount of sugar you consume this Christmas. You should absolutely get into the spirit and enjoy some of your favourite treats, but don’t go overboard.
  • Don’t chew hard foods – Candy canes, nuts, toffees, dried fruit and more. There’s no escaping the temptation of hard foods that wreak havoc on our teeth. If you crave a Christmas treat, opt for softer varieties. Also, don’t use your teeth as a tool to open beer bottles or other objects. This can cause a lot of damage, and you may even chip or lose your tooth.
  • Be mindful of consuming acidic foods and drinks. Acidic products (inc: Red Wine, Lemon Juice, Orange Juice etc..) can weaken your tooth enamel. It’s a good idea to use a straw when drinking acidic beverages, to guard your teeth. Drinking water can also help to wash away bacteria, by neutralising acids in your mouth. Don’t brush your teeth straight after consuming acidic products – wait at least 30 minutes. This way, you avoid brushing the acid-weakened enamel away and guard against more serious problems. If you enjoy cranberries or cheese, especially around Christmas, we have good news – these are some of the best foods for healthy teeth and gums. Cranberries are acidic (eat in moderation), but they contain beneficial compounds. Our mouths also love soft cheeses, which help to restore acid balance and keep tooth decay at bay.
  • Go easy on the alcohol and avoid cigarettes at all costs – by all means, enjoy a drink or two, but don’t get carried away, since excess alcohol increases the risk of gum disease. Alcohol dehydrates you, giving carcinogens free reign to wreak havoc on your oral health. Smoking also dries out your mouth and it’s a leading cause of oral cancer.

In the event of a Dental emergency, there are certain surgeries open over the Christmas period. Check out our dentist finder to find the nearest to you.