Fast Food, Take Aways and Your Dental Health at Christmas
As Christmas approaches we can often find ourselves having less time to cook food at the end of each day. The temptation to snack or pop out for a takeaway becomes ever increasing. But what can it do to your dental health? And if you do decide to have the odd takeaway what can you do to protect your teeth and gums?
The purpose of this blog post is to give you some information about how you can look after your teeth better during the festive season, perhaps cut down on some of the most harmful foods and then change your dental health routine to be more efficient. We want you to enjoy Christmas and all of that delicious food and remain healthy at the same time, it is possible, we will then finish this article by giving you our top tips to enjoying the amazing food available over Christmas and staying dentally healthy at the same time… Read on.
Think about what you are eating
Our first piece of advice is to think clearly about what you are eating, look at the entire meal, particularly sauces. Many sauces are processed and during that processing extra ingredients such as sugar are added. It is sugar that feeds the bacteria in your mouth, the bacteria are responsible for the acid attack on the enamel of your teeth each time you eat.
Just being aware of all of the ingredients in every meal, thinking about the amount of extra sugar you may be eating is a simple step in becoming more dentally health conscious.
What about all those take-aways?
The holiday season is a classic time where we want to slow down and do less, popping down the road for a takeaway becomes a popular past time! We want to encourage you to support your local businesses, but at the same time be dentally health aware. Each time you eat a takeaway just be aware of the ingredients and how they might affect your dental health.
If you have orthodontics then you might find that eating highly coloured food, such as some curries can discolour your brackets, choosing a less strongly coloured meal can mean that you can still enjoy the takeaway without discolouring your orthodontic braces.
Sandwiches for lunch
Having sandwiches for lunch are a great English tradition, but the same rule applies, think about what you’re having in them. If you are going to go out for a takeaway in the evening then you may want to consider having a healthier option sandwich for lunch, perhaps with fresh food rather than anything process which typically has more sugar.
Your Christmas dental health routine
We want you to enjoy all of the amazing food that is available over the festive season, so here are our top tips to enjoying your food and keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
Wait 20 min after eating before cleaning your teeth.
Immediately after you eat the bacteria in your mouth are at their most active. They will be feeding on the sugar in your food and as they do this they excrete acid, this acid attacks the outer surface of your teeth, making it slightly softer. If you wait 20 minutes before brushing it gives time to the natural process whereby your saliva neutralises this acid attack. 20 minutes after you have eaten your teeth have begun to recover and the enamel is not quite so vulnerable. You can now brush your teeth without fear of damaging them anymore.
After you’ve eaten that take-away or your amazing Christmas dinner, spend some time unwrapping a few more presents so that 20 min have passed… Then you can clean your teeth.
Use Interdental brushes daily
Interdental brushes are extremely good at cleaning in between your teeth. They allow you to quickly and simply clean that difficult to reach area much easier than a regular toothbrush. If you like, you can use these brushes at the same time as you clean your teeth, but if it’s more convenient you can use the interdental brushes at other times of the day.
Over the Christmas period, you might find you need a little time away from grandad moaning at the television… It’s a perfect opportunity to pop to the bathroom and spend a couple of minutes with your interdental brushes giving them a little clean.
Use a mouthwash but NOT when cleaning your teeth
Many people mistakenly use a mouthwash after they have cleaned their teeth. You should avoid doing this as mouthwash contains less fluoride than toothpaste. Fluoride helps to strengthen teeth and protect them from the acid attack, if you use mouthwash after toothpaste then you are effectively rinsing off much of the fluoride.
After you clean your teeth don’t rinse with anything, simply leave the toothpaste in your mouth. Then, perhaps midway through the day, use a mouthwash to freshen your breath and give your mouth a quick rinse out.
So there you have our guide to surviving the holiday season food intake whilst maintaining a happy, healthy smile.
Senova Dental Studios are a Hertfordshire-based dental practice helping the local people of Watford, Gerrards Cross, Chorleywood and Rickmansworth areas look after their dental health and keep their teeth bright and healthy life.
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