As we inhale another fork of stuffing or drink yet another glass of wine, let’s spare a thought for our poor old mouths over this fun, festive period. It is often said that your mouth is a window into your overall health and during the holidays especially, that window is in need of repair. Top London dentist, Dr. James Goolnik was asked by Beauty4Media for a few good dental tips this season that can help us to be a bit kinder to our oral cavities. Here’s what the expert had to say:
1. Most of us a like a drink or two around the holidays even more so. However, most alcoholic drinks contain sugar, which combined with bacteria in your mouth, can lead to tooth decay. Many drinks – especially those with carbonated mixers, are very acidic and can dissolve tooth enamel. Vomiting to relieve the occasional hangover can also bring stomach acid into your mouth leading to the enamel being dissolved.
Mouth Savers – Dr. Goolnik says to swish your mouth with water between drinks. Chew sugar-free gum on the way home too. And leave your toothbrush on your pillow before you go out so you don’t forget to brush before you go to bed.
2. Even if you are keeping the alcohol in check, soft and fizzy drinks also contain a large amount of sugar – and even the sugar-free ones are almost as bad, as they contain lots of acid.
Mouth Savers – Dr. Goolnik recommends reducing your overall amount of these drinks and if you can, drink through a straw. Don’t brush straight after drinking – chew with sugar-free gum to neutralize plaque acid. And try to and limit these drinks to mealtimes only.
3. Sweets? Plenty of those around for the holidays. Nuts? These types of foods can crack your teeth. What’s a gal to do?
Mouth Savers – Dr. Goolnik says to suck sweets! Ideally Xylitol ones, as they are good for your teeth.
4. Smoking and Drinking. The festive season can see a few more of those ‘social’ smokers come out of the woodwork as the cigars are handed round. Smoking can hide the warning signs of gum disease, but when combined with drinking, it is much more dangerous as alcohol aids the absorption of tobacco into the mouth; those who smoke and drink in excess are up to 30 times more likely to possible develop mouth cancer.
Mouth Savers – Of course Dr. Goolnik says to avoid smoking if you can. And if you can’t, see your dentist regularly to check for early warning signs of mouth cancer.
5. It would be fair to say that our diets are not generally at their best at this time of year. Snacking, sweets, and crisps – you name it, most of us do it and it can be hard on our teeth and oral health.
Mouth Savers – The dental expert said if you can keep to mealtimes as much as possible, this can help a lot. Chew sugar-free gum or xylitol containing mints, and make sure that you brush twice a day and floss!
So there you have it – 5 tips to look after your mouth so that it smiles its way into 2014 in good shape!
Taking any of these tips with you into the New Year? Let us know with a note below!