Taking Care Of Your Teeth At Christmas Time
Don’t let your oral health care slip during the festive season!
We expect that many of you will be looking forward to the Christmas and new year break, especially if you have some time from work to make the best of it. If you have children, that always adds something special too, though also brings its own headaches of course. We hope that all of our Chelmsford patients have a great time anyway but we would just like to offer a few words of caution too.
It is far from unusual for us to have a slightly busier spell just after the break, with the number of calls for emergency dental appointments often increasing. Some of these are unavoidable and would have happened anyway, but a few are also the result of neglect over the festive break. We hope that the following advice helps you to avoid being one of those who need to make that call to Blue Sky Dental.
Brush and floss as normal
It is easy to get out of our routine during the Christmas and new year period. Habits change and people come and go into and from our social circle. This disruption and the result of parties and late nights can easily lead to us forgetting to floss or even clean our teeth, especially at night before we go to bed. Brushing and flossing your teeth is the bedrock of good oral care (along with regular check ups of course). Make sure that however much you have had to drink, or however tired you are, you take the time to clean your teeth twice a day.
Too many sweets
We have no wish to spoil your fun at Christmas and we know that you will almost certainly eat more sweets and chocolates than you usually do. We also know though, the harm that sugar causes, especially in the formation of dental cavities. It might be tempting, but do try to keep your consumption down to a sensible level and try to eat a few alternatives instead. Nuts and cheeses are both tasty but also very good for your teeth and gums. Cheese is especially so after a meal as it helps to neutralise some of the acidity that can lead to enamel erosion.
Even those who drink little during the year tend to let their hair down at this time of the year, sometimes with disastrous results! Alcohol can help some people to relax and socialise more easily but it is also well known to be one of the leading causes of gum disease and oral cancer (the latter especially if you drink too much or too often). Even moderate consumption of alcohol is likely to cause a dry mouth. This in turn allows potentially harmful bacteria to multiply more rapidly in the mouth and may lead to the start of gingivitis, and later on, periodontitis.
Alcohol consumption is also one of the reasons why people have to call your popular Chelmsford dentist for an emergency appointment, with falls and collisions leading to chipped or broken teeth that require treatment. If you do drink, please do so sensibly; your teeth (and head) will thank you for it.
While soft drinks are less harmful in many ways than alcoholic drinks, they do often contain high amounts of sugar that can damage the teeth. Again, we are not saying you shouldn’t enjoy these but do bear this in mind and drink them in moderation. Perhaps also try to alternate them with water. In fact water is great not only for avoiding sugar but also works to wash away bacteria and food particles from between your teeth. Whether you drink water or not, make sure to still brush your teeth well, especially at night.
There’s always one!
Almost every family has a member who likes to ‘play the fool’. The kids often love this and some adults too. On the whole, this is not problematic (though with social media, it could provide years of embarrassment!). Unfortunately, sometimes the fooling around is taken too far and some people tend to show off by doing, quite frankly, stupid things, such as opening bottles of beer etc with their teeth. This is never good and if you are not very fortunate, at best you may end up with chipped teeth. For the less fortunate, teeth can easily break and in some instances, if the bottle slips, you may end up in A&E with deep cuts to the mouth or face. Please use the correct tools for this and bear in mind that even opening packets of crisps with your teeth can cause them to chip and break too.
Hopefully this advice will help you to have an enjoyable, but safe, Christmas and new year. Remember that if you do need any emergency oral care, we will be closed for some of the holidays. If you need help during this time, please call our usual number of 01245 211070 and you will be advised where to contact for further assistance.
In the meantime, let’s hope that both patients and the team at Blue Sky Dental have a great holiday and, as this will be our last blog until 2024, we would like to take the opportunity to wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!