Looking for simple yet effective dental tips for the upcoming festive season? We’ve got you covered. As many South Africans begin the countdown to the holiday season, most will be looking forward to braais, Christmas lunches, stocking treats, and various other goodies. While now is certainly the time to relax and enjoy some well-deserved pampering, it does not mean that your teeth and gums have to pay the price.
To help you keep your oral health in tip-top shape these holidays, we have put together a list of dental tips for the festive season.
Dental Tips for the Holidays
Some of the most important dental tips to keep in mind this festive season include the following:
Keep your sweets sugar-free.
Sweets may seem like an essential right of passage over the Christmas season. As much as you love sweets, the bacteria that live in your mouth love them more, causing plaque, tooth decay and various other issues. Eating too many sugary sweets will quickly wear away at your teeth. Instead, look for sugar-free sweets that you can enjoy without worrying about a New Year trip to the dentist.
Chew sugar-free gum between meals.
Sugar-free gum can be a great way to clear food particles between brushing. These gums also help your mouth product extra saliva, which, in turn, removes bacteria and plaque naturally. Bacteria that cause tooth decay typically thrives in dry mouths. Chewing gum between meals is a simple way to clear out food particles and keep your mouth hydrated, in one go.
Keep away from sticky and chewy foods.
That’s not to say that all chewy foods are good, however. Chewy sweets such as gummies and even dried fruits such as cranberries can all be less than great for your oral health. The problem with chewy foods is that they often cause tiny particles between the teeth that are harder to remove than regular food particles. For kids with braces, these treats can be particularly risky, increasing the odds of a holiday trip to the dentist. If you do need to indulge, try to enjoy your fill in one sitting rather than eat sporadically through the day.
Go easy on the hard sweets.
Other sweets to look out for include very hard sweets. Aside from being loaded with sugar, these sweets can also increase your chance of broken or chipped teeth when they are chewed instead of sucked. Sucking very sugary sweets, meanwhile, increases the acid and bacteria production in your teeth.
Watch out for starchy foods
Starchy foods very easily get trapped between the teeth, increasing your risk of plaque and cavities. If you do decide to indulge in crisps, cake, mince pies and other delights, be extra careful to floss properly that evening so that you remove all particles of starch.
Don’t chew ice.
South Africans are lucky enough to enjoy gloriously warm holiday seasons, with plenty of hot sunny days by the pool lying ahead. Don’t be tempted to cool down by chewing ice, however. You may end up causing tiny fractures in your teeth that you cannot easily see, weakening your tooth enamel drastically.
On behalf of the Gateway Dental team, we wish you a very happy holidays and look forward to sharing more dental tips in Durban and surrounds this coming year.