Keeping our teeth healthy over the Christmas period is easier said than done – all those sugary treats, large dinners and red wine take their toll on our pearly whites! Try these tips to keep your gnashers in top form:
Twice a day, keeps the dentist away
Over a quarter of adults in the UK don’t brush their teeth twice daily. However, regular brushing stops the bacterial build-up of plaque – something we should be taking extra time to do over Christmas. Studies have shown that even missing one brushing session can help cavities to form, so be sure you brush twice a day to keep your smile looking healthy.
When it comes to brushing, quality is just as important as quantity – you need to make sure you’re using the right tools for the job. Those chocolate treats, candy canes and mince pies won’t clear up by themselves!
According to tests done by the Oral Health Foundation, electric toothbrushes can clean up to 25% more plaque from your teeth than a manual one. So, If you’re currently using a manual toothbrush, it may be time to upgrade to an electric one – christmas present, anyone?
Replace your brush
We’ve all been guilty of using a toothbrush that’s a little worse for wear, but an old brush can be detrimental to your oral health. Once those bristles wilt, they start to lose their strength, which means you’re more likely to miss areas of your mouth when brushing. To avoid being caught out, keep stocked up with multiple brushes, so you always have one spare in the bathroom cabinet.
Floss is boss
No matter how good your brushing is, you simply can’t clean the entirety of your mouth with a toothbrush alone. This is because brushing misses around 50% of your tooth surface area, thanks to the tiny areas in between your teeth. The build-up of plaque in those spaces is actually one of the leading causes of gum disease, so it’s not wise to ignore it.
To do a thorough job, you’ll need to use a quality floss tape to remove the christmas pudding and shortbread that’s hiding in those nooks and crannies!
Say no to sugar
During the winter festivities, it’s not uncommon for all of our eating rules to go out of the window – chocolate for breakfast, apple pie for dinner, and a helping of cola to wash it all down! Sadly these sugary delights are leading causes of tooth decay – bacteria in our mouths use sugar to produce acids that dissolve and damage our teeth. If you feel the urge to splurge, try opting for treats with less sugar content, such as fruit, yoghurt, dark chocolate and natural cereal bars.