Christmas tips to look after your teeth

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Posted 15th December 2017

Christmas in Kenilworth was a lovely start to December, and with the snow as well it’s feeling very festive. We’re officially in Christmas season, and that means lots of opportunities to celebrate and indulge. We’re not here to dampen the party spirit, just give you a few tips on how to protect your teeth from the onslaught of mince pies, chocolates and alcoholic drinks.

Christmas lunch advice

It’s the frequency that you eat sweet food that damages your teeth, not the amount. Your saliva needs about an hour to break down the tooth-damaging acid from bacteria, so constant snacking through the day doesn’t give your mouth a chance to recover. Our advice is to have sweet foods as part of your Christmas meal rather than grazing throughout the day. Better still - cheese is an effective way to round off a Christmas meal. Cheese helps neutralise harmful acid in the mouth, helping your saliva tackle tooth decay.

Tooth-friendly tipples

Many of us enjoy a drink or two with family and friends over the festive break. But which drinks, if any are best for your teeth?

If spirits are your thing, then gin and tonic with ice is probably the best choice. Its relatively low in acid which means it is less likely to attack your tooth enamel. Extra ice will dilute the drink, reducing the amount of acid even more. Drink it through a straw to further minimise the damage to your teeth. Watch out for vodka, as this can dry the mouth and lead to bad breath.

If you’re a wine drinker then remember that the darker it is, the more likely it is to get into the surface of your teeth and discolour them. Switching to white won’t help as its high acidity will cause problems. Sparkling wines aren’t great either as the carbon dioxide in them is harmful to your teeth. If you’re going to have something, then cava or champagne have the lowest sugar content so would be the best choice. Mulled wine is delicious accompaniment to a chilly winter evening, but brings the same dental risks as red wine. How about swapping it for a sugar free hot cocoa made with milk? 

Beer drinkers – the lighter beer the better, as this indicates a higher water content and therefore less acid.  But please don’t open the bottle with your teeth - or presents or packaging. Bottle openers and scissors are much better choices both for your teeth and your chances of success. 

Non food activities

There’s lots of traditional food, but there’s plenty  of Christmas tradition that doesn’t revolve around eating. Why not try a new board game, go out for a festive walk, or join one of the local events.  The duck race in Kenilworth on Boxing Day is a firm favourite. 

Remember the routine

You’ll probably be enjoying some late nights, but don’t forget your oral health routine. Make sure you brush your teeth before bed to neutralise those harmful mouth acids and floss regularly too.

Merry Christmas from us all at Pennington Dental