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Avoid These Top 5 Festive Treats To Protect Your Teeth

December is here which means one thing – so are all the Christmas treats.

This time of year, our diets tend to contain much more calories, sugar and indulgent food and drink in general.  Enjoying these festive treats has become the tradition when you think of Christmas and the festive season, but consuming too many on a regular basis can be dangerous for your oral health.

Your oral health may not be your main priority this festive season, but it should be. Relaxing your oral hygiene routine over Christmas could lead to complications in the new year, such as tartar build-up, decay and even the onset of gum disease.

Along with practising an excellent oral hygiene routine, there are certain festive foods and drinks to avoid this Christmas to protect your teeth. Here’s our list of the worst 5 culprits:

Prosecco

Prosecco has become increasingly popular over recent years, but did you know it’s one of the worst alcoholic beverages for your teeth? Bubbly contains a high amount of acid, which can damage the enamel of the teeth. The enamel is the hard, protective outer layer of the teeth which, once damaged, cannot repair itself. This can lead to sensitivity, discolouration and your teeth to become more susceptible to decay. If you enjoy a glass of prosecco, try to limit it to at mealtimes. 

Red Wine

Similar to prosecco, red wine contains acid that will attack your teeth. Along with its acidity, the deep red colouring can cause surface staining that can be difficult to reverse without professional teeth whitening treatment. It is also important to remember to avoid red wine after teeth whitening treatment, as it will cause reoccurring staining. If you do want to enjoy a glass of red wine, drink some water afterwards to rinse and help neutralise the acidity levels in the mouth. 

Toffees

Toffees are a dentist’s worst nightmare! They may be very popular at Christmas, but toffees can cause havoc for your teeth. Their hard and sticky texture can even pull old or unstable fillings out of place. Toffee also contains an extremely high amount of sugar, which combined with their stickiness, creates a very dangerous situation for your teeth. It gets stuck in and around your teeth and will linger there for many hours, leaving your teeth under a sugar attack. This can lead to tooth decay. 

Dried Fruit

Dried fruits are extremely popular at Christmas time, both on their own and in other foods like Christmas cake and pudding. It may seem like a healthy option, but for your teeth, they are no better than chocolate. When fruit is dried, the natural sugars (fructose) are brought out. Combine this sugar with their stickiness, and you have the same situation as with toffees. 

Chocolate

With chocolate, the important rule to remember is ‘It’s not how much you have, it’s how often you have it’ when it comes to looking after your teeth. We aren’t telling you to give up the chocolate this Christmas, but we are advising you to limit it to at mealtimes. This will reduce the amount of time that your teeth are under a sugar attack for. Dark chocolate makes a better alternative, as it contains much less sugar. However, this should still be consumed in moderation.

Are you due a dental check-up with Oak Mount Dental Practice? Why not book one in for January? Call us today on 0161 445 1211.

Posted by Oak Mount Dental Practice

Website last updated: October 2020

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