Christmas cheer brings with it an all-pervasive aroma of freshly baked cakes, delectable pies and other savouries. While you are busy with the festivities, and indulging in the sweets, don’t lose sight of the impact of what you eat on your dental health. Tooth decay and oral hygiene often take a back seat at this time of the year, mostly with bitter consequences that will last for a long time after the fun is over.
Poor oral hygiene is visible through various symptoms, including persistent bad breath, toothaches, gum inflammation, and tooth sensitivity. Neglecting oral health can lead to severe complications like cavities and gum disease.
The factors that contribute to bad oral health include excessive consumption of sugary foods and beverages, irregular or improper brushing and flossing, acidic diets, infrequent dental check-ups, and smoking. These practices create a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, plaque buildup, and enamel erosion, thus paving the way for dental decay.
However, there are numerous remedies and preventive measures to combat dental decay and maintain healthy oral hygiene.
Brush to impress: Want to give your cavities a nightmare, before they give you one? It’s easy, just brush your teeth twice, daily. Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste keeps plaque at bay and prevents dental decay. Also include the daily flossing dance – it’s the cavities’ worst nightmare.
Nibble on natural delights: Indulging in a sweet craving occasionally is fine but remember to eat fruits, veggies, and whole grains everyday as they provide a toothsome treat for your gums. Say ‘cheese’ to low-fat dairy while steering clear of sugary sabotage.
Watch out for acidic ambush: Overindulging in acidic and sugary treats can wreak havoc on your enamel. Sip wisely, rinse promptly, and shield those precious pearly whites from erosion.
Date your dentist (not literally though): Pay a visit to your dentist, at least biannually, to safeguard your oral health. These check-ups keep plaque and tartar in check and bid them a swift farewell if they’ve overstayed their welcome.
Mouthwash to the rescue: Pour a small amount of mouthwash into a measuring cup. Take a sip (not a swallow), and swish the liquid gently around your mouth. Ensure it reaches all corners – between teeth, along the gumline, and the roof of your mouth. Avoid rinsing your mouth with water immediately after to let the mouthwash’s benefits linger longer. This battles plaque and keeps the gums gleaming.
Tobacco tango or dental disco: Skip the smoke and ditch the chew. Harmful chemicals in tobacco and smoking reduce saliva production and impact the mouth’s natural cleaning mechanism. This increases the risk of dental caries (cavities) and gum disease due to reduced neutralisation of acids and bacterial build-up.
Guzzle that H2O: Get ready for a saliva splashdown. Water plays a vital role in maintaining oral hygiene. Firstly, it helps rinse away food particles and debris lingering in the mouth and reduces the risk of plaque formation and bacterial growth. Secondly, staying hydrated promotes saliva production, a natural defence mechanism that helps to neutralise acids, fights bacteria, and washes away food particles.