A few festive suggestions for gifts that can improve your oral health.
While some of us may be last minute shoppers, many will be planning what to buy their friends and relatives for Christmas presents already.
At the Cygnet Dental Practice, we thought that we would make a few suggestions of presents that we consider to be tooth friendly. Some of these are especially ideal as stocking fillers, whilst others may involve a slightly larger outlay.
In no particular order, here are some of the suggestions that our Wickford dentists came up with.
Although perhaps not the most glamorous of Christmas presents, a new toothbrush is one that can really improve oral health. Too many people are believed to be using a toothbrush that is too old to be effective and with bristles that are so worn that they don’t clean the teeth of food and bacteria sufficiently.
For families that still use a manual toothbrush, this is a good opportunity to switch to an electric toothbrush. These are now widely acknowledged to provide better cleaning and are especially useful for young children where the rotating bristles do much of the work that small tired arms sometimes don’t. Where children are concerned, there are also a wide range of brushes now available with different colours and characters from their favourite cartoons and TV shows.
Sweet and chocolate alternatives
It is probably no exaggeration to say that most of us will overindulge over the festive period. One of the things that we tend to eat a lot more of are chocolates and sweets. These are usually easily available throughout the day and we are likely to ‘graze’ on them whilst watching TV. Although we don’t wish to appear to be killjoys at Christmas, the reality is that all of this additional sugar is not good for our teeth, especially as late nights and possibly some alcohol, may well mean that we also don’t clean our teeth as well as we usually do.
Try to offer non or low sugar alternatives as snacks. Carrot sticks with dips are a popular choice as are fruit and nuts. Try not to consume too much acidic fruit though as this can be harmful to your tooth enamel.
Related to the above, but worth mentioning on its own as a gift rather than just a snack, is cheese. This makes a great Christmas present for adults and is likely to prove to be popular. Cheese not only makes a tasty present but eating cheese also helps to balance the acidity in your mouth and restores it to a more neutral state, especially when eaten after a meal.
There are many cheeses now available and you could either buy a ready made board or make a selection of your own, depending on the recipient’s personal taste.
OK, not one that is going to win you many friends probably but a good one to buy for family members. Maybe download a flossing guide from the internet to go with it to get them started. Even if this only encourages a few people to floss regularly, it will have been worth it.
A cosmetic treat
For those looking for a more ‘significant’ gift for their loved one, why not consider treating them to a cosmetic dental treatment? One of the most popular of these is the teeth whitening procedure that we offer at the Cygnet Dental Practice in Wickford. This is an affordable and popular option as patients will see the results in a very short time.
We use a home whitening kit that has individually produced trays so that they fit comfortably whilst preventing any bleaching agent from coming into contact with your gums.
Whilst some people prefer to have this done in time for Christmas, others prefer to indulge at Christmas and then restore the colour of their teeth afterwards. Once you have whitened your teeth to the degree that you wish them to be, you will also be able to retain the trays so that if you need to have the treatment repeated, the cost can be kept down. We find that patients that use this method often, ask us to help them to devise a ‘maintenance’ plan so that their teeth maintain a reasonable consistency in colour rather than allowing them to become significantly darker before they are whitened again. We are always happy to discuss this with you.
We hope that these suggestions help you to have a more tooth friendly Christmas and we are always happy to hear from you if you have other suggestions that we might add.
A reminder that, like nearly all dental practices, we will be closed at some points during the Christmas holidays. If you need to make an appointment to see us before then, please call our Wickford practice on 01268 733078.