Christmas 2021 is (hopefully!) set to be very different to last year, and here at Corner House we’re excited about the festive season! This time of year, it can be really easy to let your oral health routine take a bit of back seat, which is why we’ve put together some advice below, so you can have a great Christmas without putting your dental health at risk.
Watch your alcohol intake
This is certainly a tough ask over Christmas, when most of us will likely be consuming more than the recommended 14 units a week. If you’re going to be drinking during December, there are some drinks that are better than others when it comes to protecting your teeth from harm. Unless consumed in moderation, drinks like white wine and prosecco are a big no-no for your teeth, both containing a high level of acid and therefore likely to cause tooth erosion. Beer and gin are two of the least acidic drinks, so these are great choice during Christmas time. Try to take a sip of water each time you’re drinking alcohol, as this will help to wash sugars away.
Don’t let your brushing and flossing routine go to pot
There should never be an excuse to go lax on your brushing and flossing – even at Christmas time! Failing to brush means your teeth are covered in bacteria until the next time you brush. Bacteria digests food remnants on your teeth and under your gums, and the acid by-product damages your tooth enamel and causes cavities. Failing to brush before bed is particularly problematic, as when we sleep the mouth creates less saliva, so this bacteria isn’t being washed away by the production of saliva.
Forgetting or neglecting to floss is also something you should endeavour to avoid. Any stubborn particles hiding between your teeth should be removed as soon as possible, to minimise bad breath and plaque development.
Of course, Christmas is not an ideal time to be watching the waist line, but you can choose tooth-healthy foods that also happen to be Christmas foods. Some of the commonly eaten festive foods that won’t risk the health of your teeth include:
Cheese: what’s Christmas without a good cheeseboard?! The fantastic news is, cheese is highly compatible with your teeth, containing calcium which helps to keep them strong. Cheese also helps to neutralise the acidity levels in your mouth, which will reduce the chance of cavities forming.
Nuts: if you love snacking on nuts at Christmas time, make sure you’re opting for those that aren’t sugared or honey roasted. Almonds are particularly good for your teeth, as they’re low sugar and like cheese, they contain calcium.
Turkey: this modest bird deserves more respect! Turkey is low in fat and contains phosphorous, calcium and vitamin D, all of which work in unison to keep your teeth healthy.
Apples: whilst they aren’t strictly a Christmas food, if you’re a keen lover of apples you should try to eat them after finishing your hearty festive dinners. Why? Because their texture cleans the surfaces of the teeth and stimulates your gums. This is a great way to keep your teeth clean between brushing, along with drinking plenty of water too. Spice up your apples with some cinnamon to give them a festive twist!
Book a hygienist appointment for January
If you’ve been lax with your diet and brushing routine over a few weeks during Christmas time, booking a hygienist appointment is a wise move. A hygienist can clean off the cumulative plaque that may be present along the gum line using special tools (as a brush won’t remove this), lowering your risk of gum disease.
Amazingly, a third of adults in the U.K have never even attended a hygienist appointment, a fact which explains why gum disease is the primary cause of tooth loss. Why not make turning up to hygienist appointments your resolution for the New Year? Not only does good oral hygiene support good dental health, it’s essential for your general health too. There is now overwhelming evidence to suggest that plaque can enter the bloodstream to cause heart problems and even a stroke, whilst diabetes is also a risk factor for those with poor gum health.
Plan some dental treatment for after Christmas
We all start to think about the year ahead at Christmas time, and perhaps you’ve been considering cosmetic dental treatment for 2022? At Corner House Dental here in Norwich, we offer a range of cosmetic dental procedures, designed to enhance the appearance of your smile. From teeth whitening and veneers, to tooth bonding and hand-crafted crowns, we can address a variety of imperfections with your teeth.
Don’t use your teeth as tools!
It might be tempting to show off opening a bottle with your teeth as a party trick at Christmas time, but believe us when we say that it’s a potential disaster for your teeth. We see many a cracked and chipped tooth due to patients biting on foreign objects like bottles, ice and pencils. Avoid the need for an emergency dental appointment here in Norwich by sticking to food and drink this Christmas!
If you would like to book in for a routine dentist or hygienist appointment in Norwich, contact our friendly reception team, who can arrange this for you. We look forward to seeing you, and have a lovely Christmas!