How you can look after your teeth this Christmas

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? The team at Revitalise Dental Centre certainly are. However, we are not talking snow! Oral health can easily go out of the window during the festive period and your teeth may shine a little less bright than normal. That’s why we want to provide advice on how you can look after your teeth this Christmas whilst still having a great time. Your waist may suffer a little, don’t let your teeth suffer too!

Last Christmas saw supermarkets reach a record spend of £29.3 billion in the UK alone. And this was only in the run-up to Christmas. Everyone loves to overindulge in food, alcohol and sweet treats over the festive period. And rightfully so, it’s a great time to celebrate the end of the year with friends and family. The whole team at Revitalise love to join in with the celebrations, however we still feel it’s our duty to promote a healthy lifestyle. And how you can enjoy the holidays without doing permanent damage to your teeth.

Alcohol – Know your limits!

The festive period is a great time to enjoy a drink with your Christmas dinner. Champagne and sparkling wine such as Prosecco is an extremely popular choice. Aldi reported that the week before Christmas in 2018 they sold the equivalent to 3.2m glasses of wine, champagne and Prosecco every day.

Despite their popularity, champagne and Prosecco are an extremely unhealthy choice for your oral health. Due to their acidic nature and high sugar content. We have all heard that drinks that are acidic can cause our teeth “to rot”. But what does this mean? Drinks that are highly acidic can lead to enamel erosion, sometimes referred to as tooth erosion. The enamel is a thin layer which covers the outer part of your teeth. This layer helps to protect your teeth from day to day activities. Such as chewing, biting and even teeth grinding. Once the enamel beings to erode it can crack. And unlike our bones, it can not heal itself.

Tooth erosion can then lead to cavities and tooth decay. As a result you may need fillings or if the tooth becomes infected it may need to be removed completely. Alcohol in general has been linked to gum disease and mouth cancer, particularly when drunk excessively. This is because when we consume alcohol a chemical called acetaldehyde is produced which can cause damage to the DNA in our mouths.

What if I want a few glasses over the holidays?

We have a few tips that can help you look after your teeth this Christmas and avoid what is known as the ‘Prosecco smile’.

Brush your teeth before bed – We know how easy it is after a few drinks to skip your evening brush. However, ensuring your teeth get a good clean after consuming alcohol will remove any harmful bacteria and help restore your mouths natural defences.

Wait a few hours to brush your teeth – After your last drink it’s important to wait a few hours before you begin to brush. Particularly after highly acidic drinks such as Prosecco. This is because the acid softens the enamel and can actually be damaged during brushing. Waiting a few hours allows the enamel to harden.

Tuck into the cheese board – So far all we have told you is to avoid, well now we encourage you indulge in the cheese. After your evening meal and drink treat yourself to the cheese board whilst doing your teeth a favour. Cheese is actually great at reducing the acid levels in your mouth and clearing food particles. This is because cheese stimulates saliva production.

Limit your fizzy drinks

Just like Champagne and Prosecco, fizzy drinks are highly acidic and tend to have a high sugar count. And just like the Prosecco, drinks such as Coca-Cola can lead to enamel erosion. As well as following the same advice above, drinking fizzy drinks with a straw is a great way to minimise the amount of contact fizzy drinks have with your teeth.

Chocolate and snacking – limit grazing

What’s Christmas without a selection box of all your favourite chocolates? (and maybe your not so favourite coconut flavoured treat). You might be thinking because they are bite size treats they can’t be that bad? In fact, snacking between meals can be extremely damaging to your oral health. It’s reported that 82% of adults snack between meals with almost half of them snacking twice a day. It’s extremely likely that these numbers are much higher during the festive period. The act of snacking in between meals is known as grazing.

So why is it such a problem? Any time we eat or drink acid is produced in the mouth. This acid remains in the mouth for around 20 minutes before it returns to a normal state. The acid found in the mouth during eating is there to aid the break down in food. However, unnecessary grazing causes our mouth to become more acidic resulting in tooth erosion and decay.

Simply put the more often you eat, the more often your teeth are in contact with acid and are likely to decay. Does this mean I should completely avoid snacks throughout Christmas? We understand that you want to enjoy your Christmas and treat yourself but there are a few things you can do to look after your teeth this Christmas;

Enjoy your snacks after your main meals – Want to have a few chocolates? Why not enjoy them right after your lunch or dinner.

Don’t snack everyday – Sometimes it’s hard not to snack. Instead, choose a few days throughout the week where you will enjoy snacks and resist on the other days.

The cheese board is sounding good now, right? We have already spoken of the benefits of cheese, why not swap those chocolates for a few blocks of cheese. It tastes great and is less harmful to your teeth!

Ask for a new toothbrush this Christmas

As you get older your presents are not the same as they used to be. But let’s be honest, toiletries are essential and sometimes exciting. And you probably need a new toothbrush. Did you know after around three months your toothbrush is far less effective? This rule also applies to electric toothbrushes, although you only need to change the head. Not only will your toothbrush be less effective after 3 months it’s likely to carry a range of germs and bacteria. Get a new toothbrush this Christmas!

Make this Christmas Smoke free

Christmas is a time of laughter and joy. It can also be an extremely stressful time as it’s not only the ‘most wonderful time of the year’, it’s also the busiest. If you managed to quit smoking a few months ago during Stoptober, congratulations. However, the temptation to start again might be strong. If you have the urge to smoke this Christmas we urge you to resist the temptation.

Smoking can cause a range of complications throughout the whole body. Your mouth is not exempt from that list. Last year in the UK 8,302 people were diagnosed with mouth cancer, 1 in 6 mouth cancers are directly caused by smoking.

Happy Christmas from everyone at Revitalise

We know we have sounded like a Christmas Grinch but we do want you to enjoy your Christmas! Remember to look after your teeth this Christmas, enjoy everything in moderation and when you do go a little over the top, ensure you clean your teeth twice a day.

Why not give your teeth the best gift this Christmas and book in for a consultation at Revitalise Dental Centre.

About the author


Alkisti Vousvouni graduated from Cardiff University in 2010. She has since led a diverse career, growing her skills and offering a variety of treatments to best care for her patients. She worked in the Oral and Maxillofacial Department at the Royal Cornwall Hospital where she was introduced to aspects of general medicine, facial reconstruction and complex tooth removal. She taught students at the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne, and even joined a group of doctors on a research expedition to Southern and Eastern Africa A very important part of Alkisti’s work is to ensure nervous patients of all ages feel comfortable and confident in their smiles and oral health.

Connect with Alkisti Vousvouni on LinkedIn.

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What our Clients say

Marion visited Revitalise to reclaim her smile with a complete implant treatment. In this video, she explains how the staff at the practice put her at ease and why she recommends Revitalise to everyone she meets.

Client: Marion
Treatment: Complete mouth secured with implants

“The minute I met Martin, I just knew he was so calm and relaxing. So then we had a discussion and Martin said what he could do and it had to be what our pocket could afford as well and we went ahead with it. The experience I had at this dentist was unbelievable, it was a journey I loved every minute of.”

Client: Dee
Treatment: Dental Implants

“There’s always smiling, handshakes, hugs and plenty of tea and coffee. They looked after my husband who was there for the day. They do the sedation and Hayley looked after me. Obviously I was unaware of exactly what they were doing, but they always make you feel so comfortable. Although you’re nervous, I don’t think I could’ve gone and got the same treatment anywhere else.”

Client: Carolyn
Treatment: Dental Implants

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