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The toll that Christmas can take on your oral health

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and whilst there’s no problem with indulging in a few festive treats, all that eating and drinking can take its toll on your teeth, as well as your waistline.

Whether it’s through sweet foods or alcohol, during the lead-up to Christmas it’s likely that we will be increasing our intake of sugar – so it’s important that we pay extra attention to keeping our teeth and gums clean and healthy throughout December.

What affect can too much sugar have on my teeth?

Most of us are aware that eating too much sugar can lead to tooth decay, but it is not the sugar itself that does the damage, but rather the events that take place within your mouth after eating all of those mince pies. Harmful bacteria in our mouths feed on sugars we consume, destroying the protective outer layer of tooth enamel. These acids can then lead to bacterial infections, known as cavities, that can cause holes in, or even loss of, teeth.

How can I protect my teeth over Christmas?

There are measures that you can take to ensure that your teeth and gums stay healthy over the festive period, including:

Limiting your sugar intake to mealtimes. It’s not so much about how much sugar we eat or drink that affects our teeth; it’s more about how long it sits in your mouth. At mealtimes we tend to produce more saliva that will help to neutralise the acid that is produced by bacteria in the mouth.

Avoiding too many caramels and toffees. Whilst delicious, caramels and toffees tend to stick to your gums and the small grooves of your teeth. Even with regular brushing and flossing, it can be difficult to get rid of these sticky sweets, so try to limit your intake if possible.

Keeping on top of your oral hygiene. Try to ensure that you brush and floss at least twice a day, and don’t go to bed without doing so – particularly if you’ve been drinking alcohol!

Chewing sugarless gum. This can help to create more saliva production and wash away sugar and harmful acids.

Staying hydrated. Drinking water regularly will also help to wash away sugar, harmful acids and food particles.

My dentist failed to notice a cavity

If you believe that you might have any issues with your oral health, it’s important that you visit your dentist as quickly as possible. However, if you have already visited your dentist and you’re concerned that they have failed to spot an ongoing oral issue, or that your dentist may have contributed to ongoing oral health issues after having visited them, you may be entitled to compensation.

At the Dental Law Partnership, our team of expert dental negligence solicitors are on hand to help you at every step of the way; call us today on 0808 278 8202.