The holiday season is wonderful, isn’t it? It’s filled with parties, presents, horrifying festive T-shirts and a general disregard for all dietary guidelines. While the festivities are a lot of fun, they can also leave you ringing in the new year with a yellow smile and the spectre of a filling or two looming overhead.
Here are five ways to ensure your teeth survive the holidays:
Don’t Forget The Basics
The most important thing is to not forget about your everyday dental routines. Like brushing and flossing your teeth when you wake up, and doing it again before you go to bed. It’s easy to get tired during this time, but it’s important to still do your routine— especially on the days where you’ve filled yourself with wine, chocolate and candy. These can all erode and damage your teeth, and the longer you go without brushing your teeth, the more damage these treats will do.
Ditch the Candy:
A dreadful thought, isn’t it? But it’s definitely worth considering if you want your teeth to make it through the holidays unscathed. You know how you suck on candy canes until they dissolve in your mouth? Well, this is particularly awful for your teeth, in fact, it’s pretty much like giving them an acid bath. The longer you keep candy in your mouth, the more likely you are to erode your enamel or develop a cavity. So what’s the solution? Well, if you’re feeling particularly strong, you can skip the sweets altogether. Otherwise, try to steer clear of hard lollies that involve a lot of sucking, or chewy lollies that can get stuck in your teeth. The sooner you can get to a bathroom to brush your teeth after indulging, the better. You may never have considered this before, but slipping a sneaky toothbrush and mini toothpaste into your handbag is not a bad idea.
Use a Straw:
Unfortunately, your favourite holiday drinks can stain your teeth: coffee, wine, soft-drink, tea, etc. But by using a straw, you’re able to minimise the amount of direct contact between the drink and your teeth. The less contact, the less chance it has to stain your teeth.
Pick the Right Drink:
For a lot of people, alcohol is a staple of the holiday season. The favourite is usually wine, but this comes with its own risk. No matter the colour, wine can do some real damage to your teeth. Red wine is infamous for staining teeth a dull, reddish-yellow colour, and white wine is known to erode the shiny white enamel of the teeth, revealing the yellowish colour underneath.
Ask Santa For A New Toothbrush
How long has it been since you’ve changed your toothbrush? Ideally, you should be changing it every three months or so. The more you use it, the more frayed the bristles become. Studies have shown that beyond the three-month point, the effectiveness of your toothbrush in removing plaque from your teeth and gums plummets. Frayed bristles also have a much harder time getting to those hard-to-reach places where plaque likes to hide. If you’re adding a new toothbrush to your Christmas wishlist, don’t forget to ask for one with soft bristles. Hard bristled toothbrushes can wear away your enamel, making your teeth appear more yellow.
Visit your dentist for a post-Christmas check-up or a whitening treatment so you can start 2017 smiling. Dr Levi specialises in professional teeth whitening and can help you achieve that perfect white smile. Book your 2017 appointment now to avoid missing out.