12 tips for a healthy smile this Christmas

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, there’s no avoiding indulgent foods and drinks at this time of the year – and possibly letting good habits slip. That’s why we have put together 12 top tips so you can keep on top of your dental health over the busy festive period. A healthy smile could be the best gift you can give yourself this Christmas.

      1. More cheese please!

      Cheese contains lots of calcium, vitamins and minerals which are essential for tooth development and also reducing the risk of tooth decay, by neutralising acids in your mouth. 

        2. Don’t brush immediately…  

        If you’ve consumed anything acidic, like fizzy drinks (including alcohol) and fruit, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing. Otherwise, you'll brush away enamel that has been softened by the acid.

            2. Don’t brush immediately…  

            If you’ve consumed anything acidic, like fizzy drinks (including alcohol) and fruit, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing. Otherwise, you'll brush away enamel that has been softened by the acid.

                3. Eat sugar sensibly

                Sugar is broken down by plaque bacteria to acid and decays teeth. Try and reduce the number of times your teeth are having an acid attack, by eating sweet treats less often and as part of a main meal. 

                  3. Eat sugar sensibly

                  Sugar is broken down by plaque bacteria to acid and decays teeth. Try and reduce the number of times your teeth are having an acid attack, by eating sweet treats less often and as part of a main meal. 

                      4. Teeth aren’t tools

                      Try not to use your precious teeth for cutting Sellotape, opening bottles and cracking nuts! You could end up chipping or cracking them – and cutting your gums too. 

                            5. Keep drinking water

                            Water isn’t acidic. It isn’t sugary, and it isn’t harmful to your teeth. Try and drink two litres a day – so you keep well hydrated and your mouth produces enough saliva to keep your teeth protected.

                              5. Keep drinking water

                              Water isn’t acidic. It isn’t sugary, and it isn’t harmful to your teeth. Try and drink two litres a day – so you keep well hydrated and your mouth produces enough saliva to keep your teeth protected.

                                  6. Chew sugar-free gum

                                  Did you know that chewing after eating can increase the flow of saliva? It will speed up the time that it takes for saliva to remove acid – and we know what acid does to our teeth. 

                                        7. Find time to…

                                        Brush your teeth and along the gumline twice a day for two minutes at a time. We know it’s a busy time of year, but try and keep to your regular dental health regime. 

                                          7. Find time to…

                                          Brush your teeth and along the gumline twice a day for two minutes at a time. We know it’s a busy time of year, but try and keep to your regular dental health regime. 

                                              8. Spit - not rinse!

                                              Always use a fluoride toothpaste as this prevents tooth decay, and only spit (not rinse with water) after brushing your teeth so the fluoride stays on your teeth for longer. 

                                                    9. Clean between teeth

                                                    Toothbrushes can’t clean all the parts your teeth. We recommend using dental floss or interdental brushes to get to those hard-to-reach places, to remove plaque and bits of (festive) food. 

                                                      9. Clean between teeth

                                                      Toothbrushes can’t clean all the parts your teeth. We recommend using dental floss or interdental brushes to get to those hard-to-reach places, to remove plaque and bits of (festive) food. 

                                                          10. Ask Santa for…

                                                          A new toothbrush or electric toothbrush head! Remember, to change them every two to three months. Frayed and worn bristles won’t clean your teeth properly and may damage your gums. 

                                                                11. For young teeth

                                                                High protein foods such as turkey, fish and nuts contain an essential mineral called phosphorus, which strengthens and protects developing teeth.

                                                                  11. For young teeth

                                                                  High protein foods such as turkey, fish and nuts contain an essential mineral called phosphorus, which strengthens and protects developing teeth.

                                                                      12. Visit your dentist

                                                                      Try and visit your dentist at least once a year for a dental health check-up, and a hygienist or dental therapist for a hygiene appointment at least once every six months.

                                                                          Looking after your smile

                                                                          We hope this simple advice will keep your dental health on track over Christmas, and ensure you have a happy and healthy smile for 2024 – and beyond. Remember, don’t wait until January to get help if you’re in dental pain or discomfort. Not only could this have an impact on your festive celebrations, but it could also develop into something more serious.

                                                                              Next steps

                                                                              If you need to see a dentist urgently to book an emergency dentist appointment, or you’d like to start the New Year with a dental health check-up or hygiene visit – contact your local Portman Dental Care practice today. 

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