Festive Tips For Avoiding Emergency Dental Appointments
Principal dentist Dr Yogi Savania suggests ways to keep your teeth healthy during the Xmas break.
We are now just a couple of days before Christmas and most of our patients will probably either be ready for the big day or running around at the last minute to buy presents and/or food. It will soon be time for a few relaxing days though and we are here to guide you through ways to avoid the need to see a dentist over the holiday break.
At Alexandra Dental Care, we are always happy to help restore teeth when needed; however we would much prefer that this is avoided and hopefully our advice on preventative care will help achieve just that.
General oral health
Whatever you are doing this Christmas, do make sure to maintain your regular teeth cleaning regime. Brushing and flossing on a daily basis is the cornerstone of good oral care and is as important at Christmas and New Year as any other time of the year; perhaps even more so.
If you are going away, perhaps to visit relatives, make sure to pack your toothbrush. Remember that many shops will be closed over the break and you may not be able to buy a stop gap one if you do forget it. Do not ‘borrow’ someone else’s toothbrush either; diseases such as gingivitis and flu viruses can be spread in this way.
Tiredness is no excuse either. It only takes around five minutes to brush and floss your teeth at night. However tired you are or how much you have had to drink, please make sure that you clean your teeth well before you go to bed.
Many of us will drink more alcohol at this time of the year than any other. Drinking is relaxing and often releases some of our inhibitions which can be beneficial in adding to the bonhomie of the occasion. However, those inhibitions are also sometimes there to protect us.
Hospitals, as well as dentists, will almost certainly see an increase in patients this coming week who have been affected by alcohol. Drink driving is probably less of a problem than it was before it was made illegal, but sadly, some people will probably still drive when over the limit, causing accidents. Dentists too will see an increase in patients coming to them with broken or knocked out teeth caused by falls, fights or doing dangerous things such as opening beer bottles with their teeth.
It is also worth remembering that alcohol is a potential contributor to gum disease and should be drunk in moderation. Try to drink plenty of water and go steady on the alcohol this Christmas.
Beware the temptations of Xmas
Finding the balance between having a great Christmas and keeping our teeth and gums healthy can be a difficult one. On the one hand, many of the traditional aspects of Christmas are what makes it such an important holiday. On the other hand, many of these are also harmful to our teeth and gums. In the end, it will be down to each of our Burton and Ashby patients as to how they balance that. The important thing, of course, is to be aware.
In addition to the problems already mentioned, here are a few other ‘pitfalls’ that you should watch out for.
Smoking – That big fat cigar that is offered to you may very well be tempting, but if you have managed to kick the smoking habit, accepting it could be the start of the slippery slope back to becoming a smoker again. We know that smoking causes many health problems, including gum disease and oral cancers. Don’t take the risk.
Sugary foods – Most of us will eat more chocolate and sweets over the next few days than we usually do. Try to keep these to a sensible level and alternate with tooth friendly foods such as cheese. Drink water too so that some of the sugar gets washed away, and, of course, clean your teeth well, both morning and night.
Grazing – Whatever we eat, it is important to leave gaps between meals or snacks. When we eat, the enamel on our teeth softens before gradually remineralising. If we don’t leave these breaks, our teeth are less well protected against the sugars and acids that they come into contact with. Poor tooth enamel health can lead to sensitive teeth and even decay. Bear this in mind when you are watching TV and reach for the chocolates!
We hope that this guide is useful and will help our patients enjoy Christmas whilst also avoiding any dental issues over the holiday. Problems can occur though, even through no fault of our own and a bad toothache or a broken tooth on Christmas day can really spoil the fun. Like most other dental practices, we will be closed at times over the holidays (for more information, please see https://www.alexandradentalcare.co.uk/openingtimes.html ). If you do need to see a dentist urgently, please call our usual number on 01283 216347 and listen to the recorded message for further advice.
As we have managed to squeeze in a final blog, please allow us once again to wish you a Happy Christmas and New Year from all of the staff at Alexandra Dental Care.Google+