Christmas is a time when we all want to join in the festivities, relax and treat ourselves and our loved ones. For most of us this includes indulging in sweets, chocolate, Christmas dinner and a tipple (or two!)
We, at the Dental Studio, are certainly looking forward to Christmas lunch, mince pies and much more! However, the holiday season can inevitably be tough on your teeth. The extra treats are all additional times when your teeth are vulnerable to developing decay.
You might be surprised to know that it is less about how much you eat (the volume or amount) and more about how often you eat (the frequency). It is much better to eat three meals per day than to snack ten times per day, even if you are eating the same type of food! The reason for this is every time you eat the sugar in your food is broken down by the bacteria in your mouth to form acid. The acid attacks the teeth and in time causes decay. Overtime, this may progress to form a hole or cavity in your tooth, which left untreated, may lead to toothache.
So how can you avoid these problems and still enjoy the Christmas treats?
1. It is better to enjoy your sweet treats at meal times rather than spread them out throughout the course of the day. If you are having chocolate, eat it at one sitting rather than having a few pieces periodically.
2. Brushing your teeth before bed is essential. However, brushing your teeth after eating something acidic is not advised. The acid weakens the enamel and if you brush, the abrasive action of the brush and toothbrush will remove this weakened layer of enamel. This will weaken the tooth and make it more vulnerable to sensitivity and decay. Instead, you should wait one hour before you brush. In the meantime, rinsing your mouth out with water can help clear the acid from your mouth.
3. Sugar-free chewing gum can also help as it makes the mouth produce more saliva which will help to neutralise the acid in your mouth.
Easy steps to prevent damage to your teeth and ensure that you have a happy, healthy Christmas!