There is a lot going on in life during the end-of-year season. Christmas parties, present shopping, and getting ready to socialise with the relatives means that sometimes dental habits lapse and focus wanes because there is too much activity in the brain. While this may not seem to be a big problem for a short period of time, it can be the catalyst to tooth decay and cavity development. Keep this little checklist in mind as you go about your daily December duties.
Be Mindful of Drinks
Whether you enjoy a cold glass of white wine or perhaps a spirit and soda combination, the fact that you will have a few more drinks during December than you normally would means there is extra sugar passing over your teeth. Dry white wine is at the better end of the sugar scale with approximately 1 gram of sugar per glass. However, some liqueurs are close to 50% sugar per glass!
Choose beer or dry white wine as a low-sugar drink of choice while celebrating, and remember to practice normal dental habits when you get home.
Say No to Snacks
Not only is constantly snacking bad for your waistline as you move past the party buffet, it's not great for your teeth, either. Just as with alcohol, all those party pies, cookies, and candies contain extra sugar that you would not normally consume. Look for low-sugar food options containing vegetables and try to stay away from the dessert delights that are sitting on the table.
Maintain Daily Dental Habits
This is the time of year when it is not unusual to be getting home later or more exhausted than usual, and even doing the simplest of daily hygiene habits can feel like you're having to exude a mountain of effort. However, you are probably eating and drinking more than normal this time of year, too, and a lapse in your cleaning and flossing habits could be the start of dental decay.
When it comes to getting bacteria off your teeth, flossing does 40% of the work for you. Not removing bacteria leads to the growth of plaque, and this plaque will turn into tartar that hardens over the enamel of your teeth if it is not removed regularly. Tartar that gets onto the gums can turn into gingivitis, which can be a contributing factor behind swollen gums and bad breath. Take the time to brush and floss your teeth twice a day, no matter how tired or distracted you are.
If you get to the end of the silly season and feel like you have overdone things a little, make an appointment with your dentist to get an extra clean done. This will make sure that any bad habits you developed over the Christmas break do not lead to permanent dental disasters down the road.