Avoiding Dental Problems at Christmas

A few tips for festive oral health from our Wickford dental team.

With just a day or so to go until the big day, probably the last thing on most people’s mind is their oral health care.

Whilst regular brushing is unlikely to disappear off the agenda entirely, Christmas is a time that presents particular potential pitfalls for looking after our teeth. There is no reason not to enjoy yourself at this time, but just a little awareness could be all that it takes to prevent dental problems arising.

Brushing and flossing

The most important thing to do during the festive period is to make sure that you brush your teeth well, perhaps even better than usual given the consumption levels of chocolates and other festive treats. Not allowing ourselves to slacken off in this area will help to prevent residual sugars from our food contributing to the erosion of the protective enamel exterior of our teeth.

Flossing too should be performed so as not to miss those food particles and sugars that have become lodged between our teeth where our toothbrush can’t reach.

Festive vices

It is no secret that many people overindulge in alcohol at Christmas time. This does, however, present certain pitfalls for our teeth and gums. Excess alcohol easily leads to a dry mouth, which, in turn, heightens the risk of gingivitis and other gum diseases. If you do drink, ensure that you also hydrate well (with water!)  before going to bed. It should be remembered too, that accidents are more likely to occur if you are drunk, and these can lead to broken teeth and the need for professional dental care.

Some people also smoke at Christmas, even if they don’t for the rest of the year. Whilst not a great idea in itself, ex smokers especially should take care that the ‘odd cigarette’ doesn’t soon return to regular smoking, with its risk of oral cancer and gum disease.

Tomfoolery

Most of us can probably remember doing something which we thought was funny at the time, but realised its potential dangers later on.

Not an uncommon cause for people to visit the Cygnet Dental Practice straight after the Christmas break is for a broken tooth. Whilst this may occur naturally, we have seen more than our fair share of broken teeth caused by opening bottles with teeth or indeed, attempting to crack a nut shell using the same method. Quite simply, don’t try this and spoil your Christmas; that is what bottle openers and nutcrackers were invented for!

Hopefully, your Christmas will be a disaster free zone and you will all have a great time. Remember though that we are here to help you in the new year if any issues should arise over the festive period. Also, just a reminder that we are still taking on new NHS dental patients too. Simply call the Cygnet Dental Practice on 01268 733078 to arrange an appointment.

Happy Xmas and New Year from the Wickford dental team!