The Christmas holiday is just around the corner. Even as we look forward to celebrating the season with family and friends, we should also keep in mind that this is the time of year when people tend to over indulge in sugary foods and drinks. Chocolates, desserts, sweetened drinks, cakes... Yes, the temptation can be great, but you might want to stop and think about their impact on your oral health as well.
Excessive sugar consumption not only affects your waistline but also has consequences for your teeth. Harmful oral bacteria feed on the sugars you consume to produce acids that erode the protective enamel layer of your teeth.
If you do not clean your teeth after eating sugary foods, you may end up with cavities – holes in your teeth as a result of bacterial infection caused by the acids. Untreated cavities can lead to severe toothaches, and even worse, tooth loss.
Basically, the more sugars we eat, the higher the risk of damage to tooth enamel. So how can we prepare for the potential spike in sugary foods and drinks over the Christmas period?
Get off to a good start in 2018 with our quick tips and reminders on maintaining your oral health during the holiday season:
The best way to prevent cavities and tooth decay is to brush your teeth after every meal. If that is not possible, you should at least brush your teeth twice every day and floss at least once daily. It also helps to use a mouthwash to remove as much sugar and sticky residue as possible.
Sugary foods and drinks can increase the amount of harmful oral bacteria in your mouth. This occurs quickly within the first 20 minutes of consuming food. Brushing immediately after each snack or meal helps to remove the bacteria before they get a chance to attack your tooth enamel. Note, however, the reverse is true for acidic foods.
Brushing too soon after consuming foods containing citric acid (lemons, oranges, etc.) can damage tooth enamel. It’s a good idea to drink water after eating acidic foods to wash away the harmful acids.
Chewing sugar-free gum can help to clean your teeth after eating sugary foods. The gum will increase the production of saliva, which not only removes any sugar coating on the teeth but also neutralizes the acids.
This Christmas, don’t leave home without a portable or disposable toothbrush in your bag. Some nifty toothbrushes even come with attached toothpaste. After a meal or snack, these handy kits allow you to grab a quick 2-minute brushing session at a nearby restroom. You can zip back into the party with clean teeth and a refreshing breath.
When sugar enters into every nook and cranny in your mouth – especially after indulging in juices or sodas – regular brushing and flossing may not be enough to get rid of harmful bacteria. Making a trip to the dental clinic will ensure that your oral health remains in check while the dentist or hygienist gives your teeth a thorough clean.
You are advised to visit a dentist at least twice a year. A year-end or January visit will not only monitor your post-Christmas dental health, it can help to remove whatever lingering oral bacteria that regular brushing and flossing did not.
Interested to book a Post-Christmas Dental Check and Cleaning Session? Contact Face Value Dental on (07 3221 0677 or visit http://www.facevaluedental.com/Contact-Us.html to leave an enquiry.