Many people fall into bad habits over the Christmas holidays, with the promise of getting their health back on track in the New Year. But letting your oral hygiene routine slide can do a lot of harm, especially if you're indulging in sweet treats over the festive period.
Follow these tips from Sydney CDB Dental to lower the risk of dental emergencies spoiling your Christmas.
The Christmas period is possibly the worst time for teeth, but it doesn't have to be that way. You can avoid the worst of the damage by avoiding foods that are overly hard, which can chip or crack teeth, and foods high in sugar, which increase the risk of tooth decay.
Sticky lollies and dried fruit can be worse than chocolate as they stick to the teeth. Potato chips can also cause damage if they get trapped between the teeth.
When you eat can be almost as important as what you eat. Snacking between meals gives your teeth less chance to recover between acid attacks. It's recommended that you enjoy your sweet treats right shortly a meal instead, when your mouth is already producing saliva that helps to neutralise acids.
Aussies consume more sugar in drinks than snacks on average. As well as often being high in sugar, soft drinks, sports drinks and fruit juices also tend to be acidic, which can erode teeth enamel and make teeth more vulnerable to damage and decay.
Drinking too much alcohol can also dry out the mouth, increasing the risk of tooth decay and other oral health problems. Drinking water alongside these drinks can help to lessen the damage.
Your teeth may be strong, but they can still be damaged or dislodged when too much force is applied. This goes for restorations such as crowns and fillings too. Never use your teeth to cut tape when wrapping gifts or to open packaging, nuts or beer bottles. You should also resist crunching ice in drinks.
The summer break is the perfect chance for families to enjoy the outdoors, but it's important that you protect your teeth if you're playing contact sports.
The Australian Dental Association and Sports Medicine Australia recommend a custom-fitted mouthguard provided by dentists to help prevent serious injuries during rugby, soccer and other activities.
You don't have to give up all of your favourite festive treats as long as you don't over-indulge and follow good oral hygiene. Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time, and use a fluoride toothpaste.
You should also floss once a day, to remove trapped food and plaque from hard-to-reach areas, and keep up with your scheduled dental visits so your dentist has the chance to catch problems before they become serious.
If it's time for your regular check-up, make an appointment at our George Street clinic for a comprehensive oral health assessment and teeth cleaning.
 American Dental Association. Top 9 Foods That Damage Your Teeth [Online] 2013 [Accessed November 2018] Available from: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips/9-foods-that-damage-your-teeth
 Australian Dental Association. Diet and Nutrition [Online] 2017 [Accessed November 2018] Available from: https://www.ada.org.au/Dental-Health-Week/Oral-Health-for-Busy-Lives/Diet-and-Nutrition
 Australian Dental Association. Mouthguards [Online] 2017 [Accessed November 2018] Available from: https://www.ada.org.au/Your-Dental-Health/Teens-12-17/Mouthguards
 Healthdirect. Teeth cleaning [Online] 2018 [Accessed November 2018] Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/teeth-cleaning