As our dentists take a short break to spend Christmas with their families, we want to give you our best tips to keep yourself and your family’s dental health safe over the holiday break.
Christmas is a fun time of year, and we want to keep it that way for you, so have a quick read of our top five tips to help you avoid a dental emergency over your Christmas break.
- Try to reduce your sugar intake
You would have heard it before, but the holidays can result in a huge escalation of sugar consumption. The bacteria and plaque on your teeth love this time of year, as they feast on all of the sugar in your mouth, creating acid that causes tooth decay.
At a time of gingerbread houses and advent calendars, we understand how easy it can be to consume excess sugar. A few tips to look after your teeth is to not continually eat sugar all day.
Consume it in one sitting and then rinse your mouth out afterwards with water. Ensure to brush your teeth properly after eating sugar.
- Only use your teeth for eating
There is already an increased chance of tooth damage on something hard such as candy canes or nuts, so make sure you do not use your teeth for any other kind of biting.
It can be easy to tear some sticky tape with your teeth while wrapping presents, but please resist this urge as it places unnecessary forces on the teeth. The same goes for kids opening presents or packaging, and not using your teeth as a bottle opener at Christmas drinks.
These extra forces on the teeth can result in chips or breaks, and if you can’t get them fixed over the Christmas period it gives the bacteria a way into your tooth, causing tooth decay.
- Wear a mouthguard if you’re playing sports – even with family!
There is always fun games and sport at Christmas time, but it is important to remember that if you are playing a contact sport, there is always a risk of trauma to your teeth.
A Christmas sporting match injury could ruin the rest of the day, but the worst part is the ongoing dental care that tooth would require. It can be difficult to fix traumatized teeth, and often they will require additional appointments after the initial fix, and need to be closely monitored.
If you do have a tooth knocked out, try to put it back in place, otherwise leave it in milk and try to get to an emergency dental appointment. It is also a good idea to try and call an emergency dentist to give you more specific instructions for your situation.
- Don’t neglect your oral hygiene
It is easy to get caught up in the craziness of the festive season, so we encourage you to be diligent in scheduling ahead for your dental checkups and getting them out of the way before Christmas.
The best way to make sure that everything is going well is to attend the dentist regularly. At this visit, any potential issues will be identified and you can have a clean and fluoride treatment to keep your teeth as healthy as possible. We will double check any existing treatment is looking good and solid and complete a thorough soft tissue exam to be sure that things are looking good. We are firm believer’s that prevention is better than cure, and it is the best way to keep your teeth safe this Christmas.
- Be aware of tooth grinding
It is important to stay aware of your dental health and seek help if needed. If you are aware that you are grinding your teeth (you may have sensitivity or get head or jaw aches), ask us about your options. If you have a splint made, it is a one-off treatment that can help to protect your teeth from excessive wear than can cause severe dental issues.
If grinding is left untreated, in addition to sensitivity you are at a greatly increased risk of jaw pain, broken fillings and increased dental decay as the enamel layer is worn away.
If you are coming up to a stressful Christmas period, it is especially important to get your grinding under control now, as stress increases the amount that people grind their teeth.
We also recommend you remind your children that Santa knows whether they clean their teeth properly, and he might take it into account when he brings them their presents!
Merry Christmas from all our Staff
The Fullarton Park Dental team would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! For those travelling, stay safe, and to those staying home, we hope you have a relaxing break. The practice will be closed from the 20th of December for our team to enjoy some well-earned time off. Business will be back to normal as of January 6th.
To book an appointment online over the Christmas break click here.