Tis the season to be jolly. And to remind ourselves that maintaining dental hygiene is still important over the Christmas period. In fact, it’s pretty likely that we’ll be increasing our sugar intake so keeping our gnashers in check is more important than ever.
So, here are our top tips for taking care of your teeth over the holidays....
KEEP UP YOUR DENTAL HYGIENE ROUTINE
Proper dental hygiene routine consists of brushing and flossing twice a day but on Christmas day, with all the excitement, it’s easy to want to jump straight out of bed and go open your presents. The last thing on your mind is flossing. But taking a few minutes out of your morning is all you need.
While it’s important to remind children to stick to their routine of cleaning their teeth properly before they go to bed, don’t let the adults forget either.
And if you’re staying with others this holiday season, don’t forget to charge your toothbrush and pack it before you go.
MIND THE SUGAR
We all know that too much sugar isn’t good for us and can lead to issues like tooth decay. So this Christmas, you can reduce any risk by having sugary treats in moderation or opting for sugar-free alternatives.
Even better, opt for sugar-free alternatives that use tooth-friendly ingredients like xylitol, which are proven to be great for your dental health. Like our Strawberry Pastilles and Lemon Mints. 😉
Throughout Christmas day, it’s a no-brainer that we’ll be snacking on mince pies and sipping on mulled wine. This means that residue and sugar from food and drinks you consume will get stuck to your teeth. If not taken care of, the bacteria in your mouth will turn this into acid, which can wear away the enamel on your teeth.
To avoid this, have a glass of water (not fruit juice or fizzy drinks) after eating or drinking. This helps to dilute the acid in your mouth by washing away any residue. Furthermore, drinking water helps to keep your mouth hydrated. Dry mouth is not only a horrible feeling (yucks), but the lack of saliva can leave your teeth vulnerable to acid attacks. By drinking plenty of water throughout the day, you can ensure your mouth produces enough saliva to keep your teeth protected.
In the UK, some areas have ‘hard water’, which is naturally high in fluoride, while other parts of the country have fluoride added to the water. Fluoride, which is found in most toothpaste, is a naturally occurring mineral that keeps teeth health and helps prevent tooth decay. This means that by just drinking tap water, you could be strengthening your teeth. Bonus.
OR CHEW SUGAR-FREE GUM
If drinking lots of water is inconvenient AKA lots of trips to the loo, then consider chewing gum. Our Peppersmith Gum aren’t only great for increasing saliva production to wash away residue but the xylitol in them has active dental benefits. So they’re actually reducing bacteria in your mouth as you chew. 😉
FOOD FOR YOUR TEETH
Apart from gum and mints, there are plenty other food and drinks you can have that’s also good for your teeth. Swap sugary drinks and foods for these tooth-friendly but equally yummy alternatives.
Cheese? What? Yeap, you read that right. Cheese is actually one of the few festive treats that can actually be good for your teeth. It helps return your mouth to its natural acid balance after a meal, which helps prevent tooth decay.
So treat yourself to a nibble or two after the Christmas roast.
Another amazing Christmas treat that’s good for your teeth is cranberries. Full of antioxidants and vitamins, cranberries aren’t just good for your health, they’ve also been proven to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
However, as we mentioned previously, moderation is key. Cheese and cranberries can be good for your teeth but only in moderation.
Last Christmas, the average Briton consumed an average of 26 units per day, with the nation collectively estimated to have drank almost 6 billion. So this Christmas, you might not be able to give up alcohol totally but perhaps consider swapping for more tooth-friendly options.
Staple Christmas drinks like mulled wine and prosecco are high in acid, which can damage your tooth enamel. Consider swapping it for clear drinks like gin & tonic, vodka and soda water. If possible, drink it using a (reusable) straw to reduce the liquid from touching your teeth as much as possible.
While the kids are setting out milk and cookies for Santa, maybe opt for a glass yourself and the kids as well. A glass of milk could be just what you need if you don’t want a hot drink before you go to bed. Milk is a rich source of calcium, which helps neutralise the acid in your mouth and strengthen teeth.
The Peppersmith HQ would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.