Christmas season is a time we celebrate, we visit friends and people visit us, we show love and people show us love. There is usually an exchange of presents and refreshing moments are shared like in a love feast at homes, picnics, gardens, parties and religious centres. Christmas season is one of the few seasons notorious for food and drinks packed with processed sugar and high calories which negatively affect the teeth.
In view of the above, it is important to take precautionary measures on your dental health over the Christmas period.
Remember, teeth are usually either under pressure attack for up to an hour after crushing of Christmas chicken-bones or acid attacks following consumption of juice and sugar drinks, and if you think about how much is consumed, and how often, particularly over Christmas and Boxing Day, your teeth don’t really get the chance to recover.
However, we at Dental channel Ng encourage everyone who has teeth to follow these helpful tips for healthy teeth this Christmas season.
- GO FOR ALTERNATIVES TO SUGARS
Sweet and sugary food and drinks in the presence of the naturally-occurring bacteria that live in our mouths produce acids which gradually dissolve the teeth and create holes on the teeth.
Instead of weighing down the Christmas table with candy, cookies, and other Christmas favourites; balance it out by providing alternatives or substitutes to sweets. Make sure there’s fruit &veggie tray with crunchy carrots, apples, and broccoli. Nuts such as almond, cashew and groundnuts can also be good substitute. The natural crunch can help clean teeth in between sugar cookies.
Along with vegetables, don’t forget to put out a few sources of protein. You can provide a much needed source of protein to help balance out the sugar that everyone will be eating.
- SET A TIME LIMIT
It’s really tempting to graze all day during the Christmas season, but this puts our teeth more at risk of decay. Instead of leaving food out until all hours, set up specific times of the day to set the table for people to eat. These can be sit-down meals or buffet style, but it’s important that there is a definite beginning and ending to these times. This will help keep everyone from constantly reaching for food that’s high in sugar and fat.
- DRINK MORE OF PLAIN WATER
There are times when we feel hungry in which we just need to drink some water to rehydrate. Provide family and friends with plenty of water to help balance out all of the food and to wash away any sticky, sugary residue that might remain on teeth. Offer different natural ways to flavour their ice water, such as peppermint leaves or freshly cut lemon wedges for variety.
- KEEP HANDS BUSY
Christmas is traditionally a break for children and adults from school and work commitments. While this is a great time to relax, too much down time can mean overindulging in sweets. Engage family members and friends in games or toys received during the Christmas holiday. Offer sugar-free chewing gum while they play to keep both mouths and hands busy!
- EAT MODESTLY
Moderation is definitely the most important thing to remember. In order to ensure you fully enjoy this time of year without having to compromise on what you eat and drink, bear in mind that it is not how much sugary food and drink you have, it is how often you have them that causes a perilous situation for the teeth.
It’s ok to say no to that extra sweet as the tin comes round, or have a glass of milk instead of one last glass of processed juice.
Moderation is an important concept that can be hard for kids to grasp. Set a good example by exhibiting balance, especially on your plate. Christmas treats are great, but don’t forget to “indulge” in foods that will help absorb all of that sugar. Fill your plate with healthy veggies and some protein, then sit down with family and friends to enjoy the Christmas season!