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Dental health during the holidays

Everyone loves Christmas and New Year’s. The holiday period is full of celebration, seeing friends and family and relaxing. Children will have two weeks away from school, and you’ll probably have one or two days off work (at least). However, that does not mean you should neglect your health over this period.

Patients typically forget that all the overindulgence that comes with the holidays can be awful for their teeth. Here are a few topics you should bring up with them whenever possible:

 

Sweet treats

Christmas Day will typically see Mince pies, Christmas pudding and a whole host of different sweets and chocolates getting eaten. Of course, that means an insane amount of sugar is going to get eaten! Not only is that not going to be good for your waistline, it is going to play havoc with your oral health.

It is worth encouraging your patients to drink water after eating sweet treats, as this helps wash out the sugar and the acid it helps create. It is worth remembering that you should not brush your teeth straight after eating sugar either, as this can damage the enamel. It is better to wait half an hour or so.

 

Alcohol

Christmas and (especially) New Year’s Eve usually involve drinking quite heavily! However, most people don’t realise how much sugar alcoholic drinks contain, especially alcopops and cocktails. It is usually a better idea to drink something like a spirit and a diet mixer than an elaborate sugary beverage.

 

Forgetting to brush

Everyone knows you should brush your teeth twice a day, usually when you go to bed and when you wake up. However, if you have been drinking a bit too much you might forget to do this; not a good idea, especially if you have been eating and drinking lots of sugar!
Try to remember to brush before and after you go to bed, even if you are feeling a bit worse for wear!

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