PLANTATION, Florida – The Christmas party season is in full swing, and no doubt you’ll want to be a part of it. This time of year can spell havoc for your teeth and gums, so if you want to avoid an unnecessary trip to the dentist in the new year, read these tips on taking care of your teeth this Christmas.
Increased alcohol intake
Most of us will indulge in a glass or two of Christmas cheer this season, but it pays to watch your alcohol intake for more reasons than one. Firstly, it’s a hidden source of calories, so if you’re trying to avoid a weight gain over Christmas this is normally a good place to start. Secondly, those glasses of red wine and dark coloured soft drinks can stain your teeth and attack the enamel if they’re full of sugar which can lead to cavities. Even the sugar-free options contain harmful acids, so if you can’t avoid drinking this Christmas, drink through a straw and rinse your mouth by drinking some water in between alcoholic drinks.
Sugar, sugar and sugar
Sugar is unavoidable at Christmas, but that doesn’t mean you have to let it ruin your smile. From the sugars in cocktails, to the icing on the (Christmas) cake to the occasional helping of Quality Street tin contents, your teeth are under constant attack from sugar and acids. If you can, try to limit your sweet treats to mealtimes so that you can brush your teeth after each meal and protect the enamel. If your teeth are feeling a bit sensitive after Christmas and you think you might need a filling, make an appointment with us for a thorough check-up and treatment.
A night or two out on the town
If you’ve had one too many at the office Christmas party, it can be tempting to fall into bed as soon as you get home. Don’t give up on your bedtime oral hygiene routine just because it’s Christmas – remember to brush, floss and rinse with mouthwash before heading to bed, even after a night out, and your teeth and gums will thank you for it. Failing to do so means the bad bacteria has several hours to attack your teeth, leading to plaque buildup, cavities and bad breath – not ideal if you’re trying to get a kiss under the mistletoe.
Keep the vitamin intake up
We know it can be tempting at Christmas to reach for sweets and chocolate but try to remember your fresh fruit and veg intake at this time of year too. Not only do you need these vitamins to keep your immune system in good shape during the colder weather, but it helps to feed your gums with the essential vitamins they need to stay healthy and strong. The good news is that many of us enjoy a cheese board at Christmas, and because cheese is full of calcium, which is great for teeth and bones, it makes for a more tooth-friendly alternative to chocolates.
Dr Sharon Robinson, DDS, owns and operates the Dental Place in Plantation, Florida, with a second office – the Dental Place Cosmetix Spa in Kingston, Jamaica. She may be contacted at 954-792-1857. Visit their website, www.dentalplace4u.com