How to take care of your teeth, gums and body during the festive season
28 October 2022
In recent years, we’ve come to appreciate more and more the mouth and body connection and its effect on our health. Put simply, if our mouth and gums are not healthy, we are at higher risk of developing a range of health conditions. Heart disease, diabetes, pregnancy and birth complications, as well as respiratory diseases, are more common in people who have poor oral health. Many of us can take positive steps towards having a healthier mouth with small progressive, daily changes in what we do, rather than aiming for too much change all at once.
But I deserve a break!
As we head towards the Christmas and holiday season, we’re all entitled to being more relaxed and taking time out of our usual busy routines. But there are some habits that pay not to neglect, no matter what time of year.
8 tips for healthy teeth and gums all year round
Prioritise your oral health and next appointment. It only takes 2 minutes to book and you can relax knowing we will remind you when you next need to come in.
Brush your teeth and gums twice each day with a fluoridated toothpaste and floss daily. If you’re going away, or likely to be out for hours, pack a spare toothbrush, toothpaste and some floss. In the same way you may shower and freshen up before you go out, it can help to brush and floss before you leave the house.
If you can’t brush between meals, swish your mouth with water. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water to help your saliva maintain its protective qualities. Ideally, saliva is clear and thin.
Try to limit snacking in-between meals. Frequent grazing and snacking increase the risk of tooth decay, because the acid level in the mouth automatically increases to start digesting every time we eat.
Reach for water if you’re thirsty and avoid having too many sweet drinks, including soft drinks, cordial, and energy drinks. They all contain sugar in various forms, and some include electrolytes, which cause decay.
Celebrate with healthy food and drink choices if you’re entertaining. Vegetable platters and cheeseboards can be decorated with a bit of festive flair.
Watch your intake of acidic foods – these can damage the protective enamel which covers the surface of the teeth. Fizzy soft drinks, sour lollies, citrus fruits are all acidic. Use a straw if you’re keen for a sweet or fizzy drink and swish your mouth with water afterwards.
Avoid brushing your teeth for 30 minutes to one hour after eating or drinking to limit damage to your tooth enamel.
Continue your healthy habits over the festive season and book an appointment with your dentist before the end of the year to check your dental health so you can enjoy the summer break.
Book an appointment today with your dentist to understand more about what you can do to improve your mouth and body health.