For many people, the holiday season is an excuse to let their hair down and not worry so much about their diet. But there are some routines you can't afford to break, especially when it comes to taking care of your teeth.
Try to avoid these 12 bad Christmas habits so you and your family can enjoy the festive season to its fullest without risking your oral health.
1. Sweet Treats
Christmas is the worst time of year for teeth, with many people letting themselves indulge on sugary snacks at social gatherings and letting their kids do the same. It's not just chocolate and lollies that can increase plaque and tooth decay, but also desserts like mince pies and cakes that contain dried fruit, which is rich in sugar.
2. Hard Candy
Confectionery is bad enough for your teeth already, but hard sweets such as candy canes and nutty chocolate can cause even more damage if they chip a tooth or cause a filling or other dental work to come loose. Be careful!
3. Stocking Stuffers
Instead of sugary snacks or hard candy, fill your children's stockings with toys, books and other small gifts that they might appreciate even more.
4. Drinking Too Much Wine
It's not just kids that need to be careful over Christmas. Choosing white wine over red might mean you avoid staining your teeth, but all wine contains acid that can erode your tooth enamel over time. We all love a glass, but try not to overdo it!
5. Not Rinsing Your Mouth
You shouldn't brush your teeth straight after eating or drinking, as this can cause damage. Instead, rinse your mouth shortly after meals or snacks and drink a glass of water for every glass of wine. This helps to wash away leftover food and acids.
6. Opening Things With Your Teeth
Your teeth aren't tools. Using them to open plastic wrapping, bottle tops and nuts can cause chips, cracks or other damage to your teeth that may require an emergency dental appointment.
Stress and anxiety aren't good for health generally, and they can even lead to dental problems if they cause you to grind your teeth or to put strain on your jaw joints.
8. Neglecting Your Oral Hygiene
However hectic your schedule is, you should always spare the two minutes it takes to brush your teeth properly in the morning and at night (preferably more often if you're eating a lot of snacks). Don't forget to floss too, as this helps to remove any leftover food trapped in the gaps.
9. Forgetting About Home Dental Treatments
If you're in the middle of a home treatment for teeth whitening, sleep apnoea, bruxism or any other dental or medical issue, you shouldn't take time off just because it's Christmas. This could undo some of your hard work and extend the time it takes to reach your goal.
10. Not Packing your Toothbrush
If you're visiting family or going away during the holidays, don't forget your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and everything else you use every day to give your teeth and gums the care they need. You can always buy more, but you don't want to be caught short and have to skip brushing, especially if the shops are shut.
11. Putting Off Dental Visits
If you've got a dental appointment in December, you might be tempted to postpone it to the New Year when you'll (maybe) have more free time. But a few weeks can make a lot of difference if you have an undiagnosed oral health problem and your dentist isn't able to treat it at an early stage, so it's recommended that you follow your schedule.
12. Not Checking Your Dentist's Opening Hours
Like most businesses, dental clinics take time off for the holidays, especially if they're family-run. Check your local clinic's Christmas opening hours on their website so you know when it's a good time to visit, and make sure you always have their number saved in case of emergencies.
Book A Check-Up In Sydney CBD
Has it been over six months since you last visited a dentist? Contact our friendly team at Sydney CBD Dental, so our dentists can give you a clean bill of oral health for the holidays or help you get the treatment you need.
Call us on (02) 9232 3900 or get in touch online.
Please note that we're closed over the Christmas holidays from 12:30 pm on Friday 22nd December to Monday 8th January 2018.