Winter is over, spring is in the air, the days are getting longer. All means one thing – holiday season is just around the corner. The holiday season is the perfect time to get away from work, unwind and spend quality time loved ones. However, it’s also a time when the healthy habits we’ve built up over the year can slip.
While most people are concerned about how the scales will look when they head back to work, they should also be worried about their dental health.
So, to ensure your teeth and gums don’t suffer from the excess of the holidays, follow these tips.
Visit Your Dentist
Chances are you’ll have better things to do during your holidays than mosey off to the dentist. The longer you leave dental problems, the worse they get. A bit of tooth decay or gingivitis could progress to something much worse by the time you return from your holidays, so why not get a clean bill of health before you go.
Monitor Your Sugar Intake
The holidays are a time when you can indulge in the things you usually avoid, and this includes sugar. Sugar is the worst thing for your teeth. It increases the acidity in your mouth, which wears away the enamel and leaves the more fragile dentine vulnerable to decay.
So, indulge without going overboard, and make sure you brush and floss day and night to try and counteract the sugar hit as much as possible. It’s also a good idea to swish your mouth with water immediately after eating anything sugary.
Don’t Abstain Completely
Abstinence rarely works. In fact, if you try to avoid something completely, chances are you’ll break eventually and gorge on it. So, instead of denying yourself, make smart choices and don’t overdo it. It’s better to eat a few blocks of chocolate, than munch on candy canes all season long. While chocolate is sugary, it isn’t hard and sticky like candy canes are, and these types of food are the worst for your teeth.
Keep Up Your Dental Health Regime
Late nights, sleep-ins and nights away from home can all combine to make you stray from your dental regime. You need to make a conscious effort to brush and floss every day, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Even a couple of weeks without a proper regime can have an impact.
To ensure you keep up your regime, keep a toothbrush, travel toothpaste and floss in your handbag, travel bag or car. That way you’ll always have what you need, and there’ll be no excuse.
Watch the Coffee and Wine
Coffee and red wine can stain your teeth, so try to monitor your intake. When drinking red wine or coffee, always have a glass of water on hand to rinse any leftovers that may have become stuck on your teeth. The other problem with these beverages is that they increase sugar cravings, so not only will you be staining your teeth, you may be hitting them with a wave of tooth-destroying sugar.
Go for Healthy Alternatives Wherever Possible
The best way to avoid overindulging in sugar and other acidic foods is to have healthy alternatives on hand. Having chopped carrot, cucumber and other vegetables on hand will prevent you from diving to the bottom of the lolly container.
You can also switch soft drinks for mineral water with a twist of lemon or lime. To make the drink even more interesting, why not make up a jug of sparkling water and fill it with fruit. While the sugar and acid in fruit can still have an impact on your dental health, it is nowhere near as bad as the processed sugar in biscuits, chocolate, lollies and other treats.
Map Our Your Eating
On Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and the days preceding, it’s unavoidable – you’re going to eat sugar and lots of it. So, to counteract this, make sure you limit sugary foods or eliminate sweet foods on other days. It’s all about moderation, so if you overindulge on one day, you need to make up for this on others.
Visit Your Dentist After the Holidays
Despite your best efforts, your teeth and gums will have suffered over the holiday period. To prevent that damage from progressing to something more serious, you should visit us for a scale and clean, as well as a general check-up.