Dental Hygiene during Winter Holidays

Visiting your dentist before holidays

If your dentition is not in the best shape, you should consult your dentist before winter holidays. An open root canal or any other persistent tooth ache can ruin your high spirits during Christmas days or New Year’s Eve. Additionally, it may be difficult to get a consult other than in the emergency.

Effects of sugar on oral health

During winter holidays, many patients eat in excess sweets and other food damaging for teeth. Pralines, chocolate, cakes, caramels—all these may distract you from correct dental hygiene and can cause problems in January or later on.

Regularly exposing your teeth to sugar (sucrose) may lead to tooth degradation, cavities and periodontitis. When we eat sweets, bacteria in the mouth obtain energy from sugar. Moreover, sugar creates dental plaque. Then the bacteria transform glucoses, thus increasing acidity.

Naturally, it is wrong to assume that the only one responsible for these problems is sugar consumption: the issue is rather more complex, implying a lot of different factors, and sugar is not by far the only nutriment to modify acidity in mouth cavity. Therefore, the solution is a moderate diet.

Taking care or your teeth does NOT imply completely avoiding sweets, but assuming the quantities, because generally patients eat more sugar than they think, as they lack attention to the subject. A good thing to do is to brush your teeth after eating sweets to remove sugar from your mouth: thus you minimize the effect of sugar on your teeth. When you can’t use toothpaste and a tooth brush, you can chew xylitol chewing gum and drink water instead of sugar. It is very important to wash and floss your teeth before going to bed; otherwise bacteria will feed during the night.

 

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