Christmas and New Year give us an excuse to party like no other time of year. Most of us tend to eat and drink far more than is good for us and then have to work off our excesses in January. To minimise damage to your teeth, which is much harder to reverse than weight gain, here are my Top Ten Tips to keeping your teeth healthy over the party season!
- Avoid, as far as you can, Prosecco and other fizzy drinks, alcoholic or soft. The remains of the liquid clings to our teeth for hours at a stretch. Over time, constant exposure to the acids in our favourite fizz works away at our teeth. This erodes the enamel and leaves our teeth vulnerable to decay and increasing sensitivity. If Christmas isn’t Christmas without a sparkly party drink, try to keep it to mealtimes.
- Carry a stash of sugar free gum with you when you go out. It’s a really useful way to combat acid attack when you are snacking and drinking on the go. Chewing it increases the production of saliva. Saliva helps to clean the mouth and neutralises the plaque acids that cause tooth decay.
- Avoid foods that are high in salt and sugar like crisps, sweet biscuits and chocolate. Choose bread sticks, plain crackers or unsweetened popcorn.
- Choose unsalted nuts. Nuts and seeds are full of protein, healthy fats, vitamin D, calcium, fibre and folic acid – good news for your gums as well as your teeth!
- Go for crisp and crunchy vegetables, like carrot, celery and cucumber sticks. They help ‘clean’ your teeth while we crunch them up. They contain lots of water which is good for your hydration levels too.
- Chop up some cheese, which is a really good tooth-friendly snack. It’s high in calcium and phosphorus, and helps keep tooth enamel strong. Eating it increases your saliva production, which protects your teeth and gums. Try chopping it into chunks to make it easier to eat. Make mini cheese and fruit kebabs on cocktail sticks.
- Reject the raisins – fresh fruit is a better choice as dried fruit is much higher in sugar
- Try to leave an hour between brushing your teeth and eating, as the enamel is softer and more vulnerable to decay just after brushing.
- However late you get to bed or however long your oversleep in the morning, do remember to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Don’t rinse your mouth out after brushing as that will wash away the fluoride and reduce the positive impact of brushing.
Revive Dental Care welcomes new NHS patients to join us at our practices in Monton, Davyhulme, Salford and Ancoats.