When you're enjoying the festive season, the last thing you want is a toothache or chipped tooth ruining the holiday. But with so many sweet treats, Christmas can be the worst time of the year for your pearly whites.
Read these Christmas tooth care tips to avoid common problems and keep your family out of the dental clinic until your next check-up.
Make tooth-friendly swaps
From sugar-packed lollies to hard candy canes, lots of traditional festive favourites can be very bad for your teeth. You don't have to give up all of your favourite treats to be healthy, but you can lower the risk of tooth decay and other damage by making some smart swaps.
Base your meals around lean proteins and dark green, leafy vegetables to give your teeth and body plenty of valuable nutrients.
Cheese and other dairy products are rich in calcium, which helps to protect teeth against plaque and neutralises acids in wine and fizzy drinks.
If you love chocolate, you'll be happy to learn that it's less damaging to teeth than sticky lollies, as it washes off the teeth more easily.
Watch out for hidden sugars
It's not just the obvious sweet treats that are bad for your teeth. Dried fruit in mice pies and cakes can also be high in sugar and stick to your teeth. Starchy foods such as potato chips can also get trapped between teeth and cause decay.
When there are tasty treats available, it can be tempting to pick up a chocolate whenever you feel like it, but this type of 'grazing' can do a lot of harm. Saving treats until after meal times will reduce their impact and give your teeth more time to recover.
Don't overdo the alcohol
Like smoking, drinking excessive alcohol can increase your risk factor for oral health problems and injuries. This includes gum disease, dry mouth syndrome and oral cancer, not to mention teeth stains from red wine.
Drinking water alongside alcoholic drinks will help to keep your mouth hydrated and can lessen the impact. If your local water supply is fluoridated, drinking tap water can also help to strengthen your teeth against plaque.
Don't open things with your teeth
Teeth are strong, but they're not invincible. If you put them under too much pressure, they may chip or crack and you'll need to see an emergency dentist.
That's why you should never use your teeth to open nuts, packaging, beer bottles or even to cut tape when wrapping gifts. Reach for the scissors instead.
Remember oral hygiene
Even if you're eating and drinking healthy over the festive period, it's still important to follow good dental hygiene to keep your teeth and gums clean and help reduce plaque and decay.
Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste and brushing for two minutes. You should also use dental floss once a day to clean those hard-to-reach areas and visit your dentist every 6 to 12 months.
Need to see a dentist in Brisbane?
If it's time for your check-up or you want to see a dentist in Brisbane, contact our friendly team at Swish Dental. We have clinics in Everton Park and Mitchelton.
Australian Dental Association. Diet and Nutrition [Online] 2017 [Accessed November 2018] Available from: https://www.ada.org.au/Dental-Health-Week/Oral-Health-for-Busy-Lives/Diet-and-Nutrition
Dental Health Services Victoria. Calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus [Online] 2013 [Accessed November 2018] Available from: https://www.dhsv.org.au/dental-advice/teeth-tips-and-facts/calcium-vitamin-d-and-phosphorus
Cancer Council Australia. Alcohol [Online] 2018 [Accessed November 2018] Available from: https://www.cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer/nutrition-and-physical-activity/alcohol.html