The ‘most wonderful time of the year’ has finally arrived! We’re very much looking forward to Christmas time here in the Limerick and Roscrea areas, and hope our patients are keeping safe and well.
Eating healthy foods can pose a challenge around Christmas time. Not only does this put our waistlines and general health at risk, it threatens the health of our teeth. It’s also very easy to become a little lax with our oral hygiene routine, what with all the family gatherings, parties and late nights in the pub, it can occasionally take a back seat.
If you’re keen to maintain good oral hygiene and eat a teeth-friendly diet this Christmas, take a look at some of our tips below.
Never miss a brushing session
Whilst it’s true that missing one brushing session won’t lead to any drastic problems, neglecting to brush once could lead to more missed brushing. We’re only human, and breaking something that forms part of a routine can easily breed more breaking of the same habit.
The buzz and business at Christmas time can make it easy to become lax with habits like brushing. Our advice is never to miss out on brushing your teeth, as in doing so you’re exposing them to a build up of bacteria, which can be especially problematic at night when our mouths don’t create as much saliva to wash it away.
Book a hygienist appointment for January
Regular hygienist appointments are essential for maintaining healthy gums, and on average you should aim to visit twice a year. During these appointments, plaque is removed to stop you suffering from symptoms such as bleeding and inflamed gums, which characterise the early stages of gum disease (gingivitis).
If you’ve neglected your brushing during the festive period, booking yourself in for a hygienist appointment in January can help to reset your oral hygiene. Plaque will be removed from your gum line, which in addition to lowering the risk of gum disease, results in fresher breath and teeth that don’t feel ‘furry’ due to the presence of bacteria. Whilst it’s not a teeth whitening treatment, a scale and polish procedure to remove plaque can also lead to brighter and healthier-looking teeth.
Many people avoid the dentist completely, due to crippling nerves, which often originate from a negative experience of the dentist. Our team are made up of dentists who are experienced with helping nervous patients overcome their fears and to create positive connections with the idea of visiting the dentist. So why not make it your New Year’s resolution to reach out for help and support, so you no longer have to feel anxious about coming in to have your teeth and gums checked over by the dentist and the hygienist?
Choose the right festive foods
Just because it’s Christmas, it doesn’t mean you can’t eat healthily. You’d be surprised at how much of the food eaten at Christmas is actually good for your teeth. A few examples include:
Cheese: for many people, a cheeseboard is one of the pièce de résistance on Christmas Day.
Turkey: if only we ate turkey all year round! Not only is it lean, it contains vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus, which when consumed together, creates a winning combination for your teeth and bones. Just make sure you floss after eating your turkey, as it’s easy for it to become lodged in between your teeth.
Spinach: one of the popular pescatarian dishes on Christmas Day is a salmon-en-croute, which is often accompanied by spinach. Containing calcium which strengthens enamel and bone, spinach is a great friend to your teeth.
Carrots: honey glazed carrots are one of the great veggie joys of Christmas dinner. Containing vitamin C, carrots promote good gum health, keeping the connective tissues healthy and strong.
Never let foreign objects and your teeth meet!
Despite most people being taught at a young age that using teeth as tools is not a good idea, many adults continue to do this – we’ve seen many a tooth cracked because of biting on pencils, ice and other unusual items!
Don’t be tempted to use biting on anything other than food as an excuse to do a party trick this Christmas and New Year! Teeth that have sustained cracks and chips might require treatment like composite bonding, a filling a crown or veneers to get them looking normal again, ad unsightly teeth can leave you feeling down about smiling in public.
Book a teeth whitening treatment for the New Year
The festive period can be a great time to ponder what your objectives and resolutions will be in the year to come. Many people choose to transform their smiles, with a teeth whitening procedure, which can give their teeth a new lease of life, and help encourage better oral health habits post-treatment.
If you’re looking for a dentist and you’re a nervous patient, look no further than Shields. We believe dental nerves shouldn’t be a barrier to having treatment such as teeth whitening, we we’ll work with you to build up your confidence to brighten your smile.
If you’re from the Limerick or Roscrea areas, book your routine dentist or hygienist appointment at Shields Dental & Orthodontic Clinic, and receive the very best standards of care and treatment. We look forward to welcoming both existing and new patients alike.
We wish all our patients a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years! Stay safe, and enjoy the festive period!