How To Avoid a Dental Emergency This Festive Season13 December 2023
Christmas – the most wonderful time of the year! But if you’re not careful, it might not be such a good time for your teeth. It turns out there’s quite a few ways you can damage your teeth over the festive season – and the last thing you want to have to deal with is a dental emergency. So, here’s Pateley Bridge Dental’s guide on how to protect your smile this Christmas.
1. Use the right tool for the right job
Your teeth are not: a bottle opener, a sticky tape dispenser, or a nutcracker. Using your teeth to do the jobs of these tools can end up causing serious damage.
Getting the sticky tape from the roll with your teeth is always tempting when you’ve got loads of presents to wrap and you can’t find the scissors. But don’t do it. You’ll be putting concentrated pressure on the weaker edges of your teeth which can cause the enamel to crack. Or you could end up dislodging a crown or veneer.
Opening bottles with your teeth is a bad idea for much the same reasons, just with the added danger that you could also cause some serious damage to your gums as well.
And, we hope the reasons for not trying to crack nuts with your teeth is pretty obvious. Nuts are generally really, really hard – your teeth are much more likely to break before they do.
2. Try not to graze
We all know that sugar damages teeth. But most people tend to think it’s how much sugar you eat that causes the problems. When in actual fact, it’s how often you’re eating it that matters.
That’s because every time you consume something sugary, the bacteria in your mouth begins producing acids that can cause tooth decay.
Grazing on sweet treats means your mouth is endlessly creating this harmful acid, putting your teeth at constant risk and increasing the chance of tooth decay occurring.
Which means it’s actually preferable to eat your stash of sweets and chocolate all at once rather than spreading them out across the day. Preferable for your teeth, at least.
3. Treat toffees with caution
Toffees and chewy sweets are delicious. However, they are not best friends with fillings, crowns, bridges or veneers. So, if you’ve had any kind of restorative dental work done – choose wisely when someone holds out the assorted tub of chocolates. And if you simply can’t resist a toffee or chewy sweet, try and suck it rather than chewing it.
4. Watch what you drink – and how!
Who doesn’t love a glass of sparkling prosecco or mulled wine at Christmas? Your teeth, that’s who.
Red wine, mulled wine and prosecco are all highly acidic and packed with sugar. Which is a truly terrible combination for the health of your tooth enamel. Not to mention the staining that can be caused by the wines. To help reduce the risk of damage try sipping your drinks through a straw and aim to have a glass of water after each of your alcoholic beverages.
5. Watch your step
Christmas time is party season. It’s also the actual season of winter. Both can be potentially dangerous for your teeth.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a few drinks and getting into the festive spirit, but if you do, just make sure you take extra care. It’s even easier to trip or fall and injure your mouth when you’re feeling a little merry, but a dental emergency will quickly ruin the party atmosphere. Try and enjoy alcohol in moderation and make sure you pay extra attention to where you, and other people, are going.
And if the streets are icy, make sure you’re wearing the appropriate footwear and take it steady!
6. Beware of ice cubes
If you’ve got sensitive teeth, this one isn’t for you, as you’re unlikely to bite down on the ice cubes from your drink. But for anyone who is tempted to do this, don’t. Ice can actually fracture teeth or even cause them to break. And it’s no friend to the filling or veneer either. If you want to avoid ice cubes altogether, but still want to keep your drinks nice and frosty, think about serving them in chilled glasses instead.
7. Don’t change your routine
When you’re busy having fun, partying and playing games, it can be easy to forget to look after your teeth as you usually would. But leaving all that residue from those sugary sweets and drinks sitting on your teeth overnight isn’t a very good idea. It’ll give those harmful acids a long, uninterrupted period of time to get to work on your enamel.
You should always try and stick to your usual pre-bedtime flossing and brushing routines whatever you’re getting up to and however much fun you’re having. Your teeth will thank you for it.
Christmas should be a relaxing, care-free time – and avoiding a dental emergency should be high up on your list if you want to keep it that way. So, keep in mind these top tips for looking after your teeth this festive season, and you’ll ensure your smile remains radiant long into the new year and beyond.
If you’d like to arrange a check-up with Pateley Bridge Dental to make sure your teeth are in the best possible condition before you get started on the wine, sweets and chocolate – book now. Click here.