Many people tend to indulge themselves a little more than usual over the Christmas period, but it isn’t just your waistline or general health that can take a hit at this time of year. As well as the obvious sugary foods and drinks that often accompany the festive season, there are also some hidden dangers to our oral health that you might not be as aware of.
One of our directors, Chris Dean, explains more: “It’s common knowledge that confectionery, alongside other sugary foods that we tend to eat in larger quantities than normal during the festive period, are not great for our teeth, but they are not the only things we need to worry about. There are plenty of hidden dangers too, which can have big consequences for our oral health if we don’t manage them properly”.
His top five dangers for teeth at this time of year are:
- Festive speciality drinks can contain shockingly high levels of sugar. Pret’s Mint Hot Chocolate contains around 50g of sugar in every 330ml cup, which is about 12 heaped tea spoons of sugar- the same as 20 digestive biscuits!
- Even diet fizzy drinks can damage your teeth. They might not contain sugar, but many artificial sweeteners are acidic, which can cause tooth enamel erosion. The same unfortunately goes for prosecco, which contains sugar, alcohol and is very acidic – a real triple threat to your teeth.
- Overbrushing your teeth can do more harm than good. Brushing your teeth too hard or for too long can irritate the gums and even start to wear away at your teeth, especially if you use a harsh toothpaste.
- Brushing your teeth straight after eating or drinking is also a big no-no. Some food and drink can wear down enamel, so brushing right away can compound that damage before your mouth has chance to recover. Leave it at least an hour before brushing after having sugary food or drinks.
- Grazing at food little and often during the Christmas period can seriously affect your teeth too. It’s not as much the volume of sugary foods as the number of times you expose your teeth to them that can cause dental issues. Bacteria in the mouth produce acids each time you eat – so lots of little snacks mean lots of teeth attacks!
There are several other ways in which your teeth could be damaged this Christmas if you don’t take some precautions. These include:
- Broken or cracked teeth from eating foods you might not normally eat, such as some varieties of nuts
- Christmas toffees have been known to pull out fillings, crowns or other restorative dental measures
- Crushing ice cubes with your teeth can also cause breakages or cracks
By keeping away from these dangers and making sure you keep up a good dental hygiene routine over Christmas and not forgetting to regularly brush and floss your teeth, you are giving yourself the best chance of leaving no lasting damage.
Chris explains: “At the Dental Law Partnership, we see patients every day who have suffered from serious tooth decay or advanced gum disease (periodontitis) and, if their dentist doesn’t spot the early signs and treat appropriately, it can lead to tooth loss and permanent damage to the jaw. Practicing good oral hygiene is vitally important this festive season, and we would encourage anyone who is worried about their teeth or sees blood when they brush, to visit their dentist in the New Year for a check-up.”
If your dentist hasn’t spotted the early signs of dental conditions and this has meant you have been injured or needed more extensive dental work as a result, you may be eligible to make a claim for dental negligence. Call our team today to find out if you might have a claim, on 0808 274 6453.