Dr Tamika Ferguson
The Christmas season is finally upon us! It’s a time we celebrate the birth of Christ. A time of decorating trees, putting up lights and sharing the Christmas spirit with others.
But it is mostly a time of eating and drinking. Although benny cake, coconut cake and fudge all taste great, it is important to consider the negative effects excessive amounts of these treats can have on our oral health.
If we are not careful, Christmas can wreak havoc on our mouths.
Here are four tips to ensure you do not start the New Year with expensive dental bills by helping you maintain your dental health going into 2017.
The First Noel
The first tip is a simple one: hydrate yourself during the season.
By drinking more water, you will eat less.
During this time, we tend to drink lots of sweet/sugary drinks, which help to create the perfect scenario to put you at risk for developing cavities. If we alternate between the sweet drinks and water this will help to not only limit sugar exposure but wash away sugar on the teeth. A lot of people may say water is a boring and tasteless drink but you can always spice it up by adding a lemon wedge, mint sprig, strawberries etc. Water is a necessity during this Yuletide season!
O Come All Ye Faithful
Be faithful to your regular oral care routine.
We may be in a rush to go to that Christmas party or open presents but we still need to take the time to brush properly and floss.
The normal amount of time to brush is at least two minutes. A good way to make sure you are brushing for the full two minutes is to hum one of your favourite Christmas carols. Our teeth take a serious hammering during this time of the year; the worst thing we can do is neglect our daily routine.
All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth
Do not use your teeth/mouth as a tool or storage compartment.
The holidays come with having to wrap presents and decorate our homes. Your mouth is not a place to put scissors or hold tape while gift wrapping.
Our teeth are not tools. They are not meant to open bottles or open packages. Using your teeth for these purposes is not a good idea. Use the appropriate tools to avoid chipping or fracturing your teeth during the holidays.
No one wants to have a dental emergency during this festive season with all the turkey, ham and fruit cake there is to eat.
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Christmas is considered the most wonderful time of the year.
Family and friends gather to eat, drink and be merry. While we are surrounded by the foods we love, it is important to remember overindulgence is never good. Moderation is key. Yes, we can eat the candy cane and other sweets but limit how often we indulge in these treats. Further, chewing sugar-free gum after a meal/snack will help to stimulate saliva and neutralise acid. Not to sound like a Grinch but to maintain oral health please do not over eat.
By following these tips, your teeth will not suffer this Christmas season. You should end the holidays as well as you started. For January, 2017, schedule your dental appointment for an examination and a cleaning to start your year off right.