Christmas and the holidays are many’s favourite time of the year- spending time with family, eating all the delicious foods and spending the days lounging around the house – what more could you want?
With the increase of sugar treats and a relaxed routine all round, it is incredibly important to maintain your dental hygiene, as dental emergencies are more likely to occur.
Here are 9 tips to implement during the festive period to help eliminate any potential dental problems.
1. Use soft-bristles and brush at least twice a day.
The best time to brush teeth is after meals. Choose a toothbrush with a small head for better access to back teeth. Soft bristles are kinder on your gums. Medium or hard toothbrush bristles can wear down enamel and leave dentin exposed.
2. Use fluoridated toothpaste.
Fluoride helps to harden tooth enamel and reduces your risk of decay.
3. Take it easy and Brush thoroughly.
Tooth brushing should take between two and three minutes. Please note that a toothbrush that’s frayed before three months is a sign you’re using too much force, which can damage your gums and aggravate symptoms.
4. Limit acidic drinks like soft drinks, cordials and fruit juices.
Food acids soften tooth material and dissolve the minerals in tooth enamel, causing holes (cavities or caries). In severe cases, teeth may be ‘eaten’ right down to the gum.
5. Avoid using your teeth for anything other than chewing food.
If you use them to crack nuts, remove bottle tops or rip open packaging, you risk chipping or even breaking your teeth.
6. Limit sugary foods.
Bacteria in dental plaque change sugars into acids.
7. Stay hydrated.
Dry mouth can worsen sensitivity if the dentin is dried out too. Use whitening products sparingly, avoid overusing mouthwash that contains alcohol, (it can dry your mouth), and breathe through your nose.
8. Try a night guard.
See your dentist if you clench your jaw or notice grinding at night, which can wear down enamel and irritate the nerves in your teeth. You may need to be fitted with a mouth guard to wear while you sleep.
9. Get it checked out.
Sensitivity that lingers more than three or four days may indicate something more serious, like an underlying cavity or abscess.