How to take care of your teeth during the holidays
This time of year, our teeth are exposed to very high levels of sugar, acid foods and beverages, which can lead to the weakening of the enamel and cavities. That is why it is more than important to follow the basic rules of oral hygiene, even now, during the holidays.
For the holidays, we like to put cakes, candy and chocolates on the table. There is no shortage of drinks either, whether we are talking about juices, mulled wine or champagne. What do they have in common? Large amounts of sugar, which, together with the bacteria in the mouth, produce acids that destroy tooth enamel, resulting in cavities.
Interdental cavities, a real holiday danger
This type of cavities develops between the teeth in a very short time. For example, interdental cavities can develop if cariogenic foods (sweets, juices, fast carbs) are consumed in a short time. They can affect one or two teeth and develop in hard-to-reach places that are difficult to detect with the naked eye. In order not to face great toothaches during the holidays, follow these recommendations.
A new toothbrush and a whitening toothpaste can work wonders
Before entering the festive season, make a change in your oral hygiene kit – a new toothbrush, whitening toothpaste, dental floss and fresh mouthwash, all of which will encourage you to brush often and efficiently. Also, investing in a new, electric toothbrush, is always a good idea and one we strongly advise you to do it.
Hard bristles can damage sensitive teeth. For complete oral health, opt for a brush with soft, fine bristles that slip discreetly into places that are difficult to brush.
After every meal, rinse your mouth with water
After eating high-sugar foods and beverages, if you don’t have mouthwash or a toothbrush and toothpaste on hand, at least rinse your mouth with water. This way, you restore the pH balance in the mouth, which decreases due to the sugar and carbohydrates. Eating sweets can make your teeth more sensitive and increase the risk of developing cavities. Therefore, in addition to daily brushing, it is very important to use dental floss. This way, the bacterial plaque is removed. Instead of sweets, why not choose cheeses, nuts or fruits. Consuming a fruit of stronger consistency for dessert (e.g. apple or pear) can play a very important role in cleaning the bacterial plaque on the teeth, in a natural way.
Keep a routine
The holidays can change your daily schedule, but try to brush your teeth at least twice a day. You can carry a toothbrush and toothpaste with you and take the time to take care of your oral health after meals. Occasionally, if brushing your teeth is not an option, chew sugar-free gum, which increases saliva and helps eliminate food debris. Attention! This not a long-term solution, but an emergency back-up.
If you travel
If you are going to spend your holidays this year with friends or family, somewhere far from home, don’t forget to put dental floss, gauze and painkillers in your luggage to deal with minor dental problems. This way, you will be able to enjoy the holidays, pain free.
Don’t use your teeth as a tool
Avoid opening gifts or bottles with your teeth. Over time, this habit weakens the enamel and the more fragile edges of the teeth, which will lead to cracking and breakage.
Do you like red wine? Keep a few recommendations in mind
If you like to drink red wine or mulled wine, keep in mind that the strong pigments can develop stains on the porous surface of the teeth. This does not mean that you should avoid red wine for the holidays.
To reduce tooth staining in the short term:
- Brush your teeth before enjoying a glass of red wine – by properly removing plaque and food residue from your teeth before a heavy meal, you can minimize the risk of staining your teeth.
- Rinse your mouth after drinking red wine – to help prevent stains on your teeth, after drinking red wine, drink a glass of water. This way, you also stay hydrated. Interestingly, you may think it makes sense to brush your teeth immediately, but the enamel is actually more sensitive right after a meal. Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to prevent tooth damage and allow the enamel to recalcify.
- Eat while drinking – eat something savoury while enjoying a glass of red wine. Savoury foods act as a barrier to the acids in red wine.
Schedule an appointment with your dentist in Victoria right after the holidays
Make your general and oral health one of your new year resolutions. We strongly suggest you make an appointment with your dentist, right after the holiday season. The Pacifica Dental team will assess the health of your teeth and gums, and, if necessary, establish a treatment plan, including setting up a long-term routine to prevent possible problems or diseases.
Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season. See you next year!