Taking care of your teeth this festive season

Health

Taking care of your teeth this festive season

Incisive Bite

by Dr Sharon Robinson

Sunday, December 22, 2019

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THE Christmas party season is in full swing and no doubt you'll want to be a part of it.

However, this time of year can spell havoc for your teeth and gums so if you want to avoid an unnecessary trip to the dentist in the new year, read these tips on taking care of your teeth this Christmas.

INCREASED ALCOHOL INTAKE

Most of us will indulge in a glass or two of Christmas cheer this season, but it pays to watch your alcohol intake for more reasons than one.

Firstly, it's a hidden source of calories, so if you're trying to avoid weight gain over Christmas, this is normally a good place to start.Secondly, those glasses of red wine and dark-coloured soft drinks can stain your teeth and attack the enamel if they're full of sugar, which can lead to cavities. Even the sugar-free options contain harmful acids, so if you can't avoid drinking this Christmas, drink through a straw and rinse your mouth by drinking some water in-between alcoholic drinks.

SUGAR, SUGAR AND SUGAR

Sugar is unavoidable at Christmas, but that doesn't mean you have to let it ruin your smile. From the sugars in cocktails to the icing on the (Christmas) cake, your teeth are under constant attack from sugar and acids. If you can, try to limit your sweet treats to mealtimes so that you can brush your teeth after each meal and protect the enamel.

If your teeth are feeling a bit sensitive after Christmas and you think you might need a filling, make an appointment with a dentist for a thorough check-up and treatment.

A NIGHT OR TWO OUT ON THE TOWN

If you've had one too many at the office Christmas party, it can be tempting to fall into bed as soon as you get home. Don't give up on your bedtime oral hygiene routine just because it's Christmas — remember to brush, floss and rinse with mouthwash before heading to bed, even after a night out; your teeth and gums will thank you for it.

Failing to do this means the bad bacteria has several hours to attack your teeth, leading to plaque build-up, cavities and bad breath — not ideal if you're trying to get a kiss under the mistletoe.

KEEP THE VITAMIN INTAKE UP

We know it can be tempting at Christmas to reach for sweets and chocolate, but try to remember your fresh fruit and vegetable intake at this time of year, too.

Not only do you need these vitamins to keep your immune system in good shape during the colder weather, but it helps to feed your gums with the essential vitamins they need to stay healthy and strong. The good news is that many of us enjoy a cheese board at Christmas, and because cheese is full of calcium, which is great for teeth and bones, it makes for a more tooth-friendly alternative to chocolates.

Dr Sharon Robinson DDS has offices at the Dental Place Cosmetix Spa, located at shop #5, Winchester Business Centre, 15 Hope Road, Kingston 10. Dr Robinson is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Technology, Jamaica, School of Oral Health Sciences. She may be contacted at 630-4710. Like their Facebook page, Dental Place Cosmetix Spa.


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