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Truth Behind My Smile

Festive foodies beware!

December 17, 2010

Let’s face it, Christmas time is not for feint hearted foodies, for most of us the festive season is a time for overindulgence, particularly of sweet treats and rich puddings. But beware the high sugar content of many Yule tide goodies and constant grazing either of which are good for teeth. Here’s our top ten Christmas dental demons!

  1. Chocolate advent calendars are a daily temptation that means teeth are under constant bombardment from sugar. The sugar combines with bacteria in the mouth and forms an acid which slowly but surely eats into the enamel which protects our teeth. To minimise damage, eat your advent chocolate straight after a meal and then chew some gum to neutralise the acid.
  2. Mince pies are full of sticky, sweet fruit and sugar topped pastry – just the thing to get trapped in teeth and prolong the acid attack on your enamel.
  3. Christmas pudding’s traditionally should have a sixpence hidden inside, so beware if you’re biting down on a mouthful of pud. No one wants to make an emergency trip to the dentist to replace a filling or mend a chipped tooth. Christmas teeth disasters are not limited to the pudding treasure either, slipping on the ice or falling whilst you hang up the lights are common accidents which might leave you singing “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!”
  4. Fizzy and fruity drinks are the worst culprits for causing plaque and decay, particularly if you are sipping them over a long period of time. Sipping from a straw is reputed to help, but we say the best thing is to avoid these sugary drinks altogether and stick to sugar-free mixers or water.
  5. Mulled wine and port are traditional Christmas drinks, and whilst they will certainly get the party going they will also stain teeth making you look older and your teeth uncared for. If you’re a fan of red wine keep stains to a minimum by using a non abrasive whitening toothpaste
  6. Savoury snacks and canapés may seem innocent enough, but remember carbohydrates like pastry and bread bases all turn to sugar and thence to acid once in the mouth. Healthier party foods include vegetable crudités and dips. But ideally, avoid snacking, remember every time you eat your teeth are under attack from plaque forming bacteria.
  7. Candy Canes on the Christmas tree are another tempting festive treat. Pure sugar, these sweeties are best left on the tree – both your teeth and your hips will thank you for it come January.
  8. Trifle, like most puds, is laden with sugar. From the jelly layer to sweetened cream and custard to the booze soaked sweet biscuits, Trifle is trouble for teeth!
  9. Nuts are another favourite tradition and shelling nuts around the fire is the perfect accompaniment to the Christmas day movie. Beware of shards of shell though which can hurt your gums or dislodge fillings. Check over your shelled nut carefully to avoid any nasty surprises
  10. Bumper boxes of chocolates and toffees are all too tempting and usually there are plenty left once January has arrived. We tend to over buy at Christmas leaving us with too many sweeties to finish up. So the sugar laden days of Christmas go on…. And on…..Avoid the tempting multi-buys in the supermarket and remember to pay extra attention to brushing and flossing over Christmas!
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