When the festive season arrives, it is usually an opportunity to indulge in their favourite food delights. However, did you know it is also a time when people forget to take care of their teeth?
No need to worry though. There are some simple preventative measures you can take that will keep your teeth in tip-top shape during the festivities.
You might be toasting with a glass of wine or your favourite amber ale, but be sure to drink plenty of water too.
Perhaps the worst culprits for tooth damage over the festive season are alcohol and/or tobacco, which tend to be consumed in excessive amounts. The tannins these substances contain can stain your teeth, but they also dry out the mouth by inhibiting your saliva production.
Water is a natural way of refreshing not just your cells, but your teeth too. The water that you drink will help wash away any of the acids from the food and drink you are consuming.
It sounds so obvious, and yet most will over-indulge during the festive season. What’s this got to do with your teeth? Well, all kinds of foods can contribute to the damage of your teeth.
Limit the amount of sugary drinks, cakes and other such treats during the festive season. Even those drinks and snacks claiming to be ‘sugar free’ contain hidden sugars with the potential to be more dangerous on your teeth.
Foods that are rich in calcium, such as milk, yoghurt and cheese can assist in remineralising the teeth and prevent the formation of cavities.
Fish and meats — such as the roast turkey you might be having — are useful sources of protein, niacin and omega-3 fatty acids. These foods also tend to be low in sugar, thereby minimising the damage to your teeth.
It might sound silly, walking around with a toothbrush in your pocket, but if you brush your teeth after each main meal you will strengthen them and eliminate the germs and microbes that cause tooth decay. Packing your tooth brush in your purse is one way you can take care of your teeth after you have indulged in your Christmas dinner and especially after you’ve had a few sugary drinks.
Another key to keeping your teeth and gums healthy over the Christmas and New Year period is to chew your food properly.
Some fruits and vegetables — think potatoes, carrots, oranges, cranberries and dried fruits, for example — can be bad or your teeth. Yes, they contain vitamins A, B and C, iron, fibre, folate, potassium and much, much more, but the starchy nature of these foods tends to make it difficult for your saliva to break them down in the mouth. Almonds and peanuts are high in calcium as well as vitamin D, and walnuts contain a host of vitamins and minerals from vitamin B6 to E through to folic acid and magnesium. Plain cashews can help stimulate saliva production too, and saliva helps clean teeth.
Chewing a sugarless gum can create more saliva and help wash away the starchy and sugary acids.
Though these tips might be simple they can go a long way in ensuring your teeth are healthy, sturdy and free of toxins that cause decay.