Now that the festive season has officially dawned upon us, it’s important to consider the effects that over-indulgence can have on our oral health. In order to ensure that you don’t start the New Year off with hefty dental bills, it’s worth bearing in mind a few tips that can ensure you and your teeth begin 2016 in the healthiest way:
A very topical subject at the moment is sugar. We all give in to the sweet treats at Christmas! Whether it’s tucking into the tin of chocolates, mince pies or sugary drinks, although tasty, they all have a negative effect on our dental health. Brushing twice daily, flossing once a day and drinking fizzy drinks through a straw, can lessen the repercussions of the over-indulgence. Having sweets with a main meal is also better than snacking on them in between, due to the fact that we produce more saliva when we eat meals, meaning that it’s harder for sugar to have a destructive effect on our enamel.
Popping the bottle of Champagne open during the New Year’s firework display, having a cheeky glass of wine whilst stuffing the turkey and some Irish cream liqueur when you’re snuggled up on the sofa watching a Christmas film is all part of the festive fun! However, the acidity (not to mention the sugar content) in alcoholic beverages can soften the enamel, as well as increase your risk of developing oral cancer. Using a toothpaste and mouthwash that protect against acid erosion and minimising the amount of mixers you consume, will mean that your teeth will suffer less for it. Visiting your dentist every six months in addition to hygiene appointments will also ensure that if any signs of oral cancer were detected, they would be dealt with whilst the disease is still at an early stage. Never ignore an ulcer that hasn’t healed in three weeks, red and/or white patches anywhere in the mouth or lumps on the tongue.