When you're enjoying spending more time with family, you probably don't want to think about what might go wrong. But with the Christmas period being the most common time of the year for dental problems, taking steps to lower your risks could help you to enjoy the holidays without painful interruptions.
Follow these tips from dentists to help protect your teeth and avoid a dental emergency spoiling your December.
1. Don't snack between meals
It's not just about what you eat, but when you eat. Every time you eat or drink something sugary or acidic, your teeth are exposed to acid that can wear them down or lead to tooth decay over time. That's why it's safer to combine desserts and drinks with meals or to eat snacks close together rather than spacing them out.
2. Avoid hard and sticky lollies
Hard foods such as candy canes can chip or crack teeth, while sticky toffees and dried fruits can cause fillings, crowns and other dental work to come loose.
3. Don't open things with your teeth
Don't have a pair of scissors to hand when you're opening packaging or wrapping presents with tape? Want to practise a party trick of opening a beer bottle with your teeth? Using your teeth as tools is never a good idea, as it can lead to teeth getting chipped, cracked or weakened.
4. Drink alcohol and soft drinks in moderation
If you need more excuses to cut down on sugar or alcohol, consider the damage they do to your teeth. Soft drinks and fruit juices are among the leading causes of tooth decay. The acid in wine and other alcoholic drinks can also erode teeth, not to mention leaving permanent stains.
5. Drink water frequently
As well as keeping you hydrated in the summer, water helps to rinse your mouth of bacteria and leftover sugars that can damage teeth. If your local water supply contains fluoride, this also helps to strengthen teeth against decay.
6. Try to avoid stress
Do you grind or clench your teeth when you feel stressed? Over time, this can wear down teeth and put pressure on the jaw, leading to problems such as TMJ dysfunction.
7. Don't forget to brush and floss
Even when things are hectic, it's important that you keep up with your regular oral hygiene routine – especially if you'll be indulging in the sweet stuff! Dentists recommend:
- brushing your teeth twice a day, for two minutes each session
- replacing your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every three months
- cleaning between your teeth using floss or an interdental brush at least once a day
- regular dental visits for a check-up and clean
Need to see a dentist in Brisbane?
If you want to take care of your check-up before Christmas, or you need an emergency dentist in Brisbane, get in touch with Swish Dental today. We have clinics in Everton Park and Mitchelton.