Christmas may be just around the corner but it’s never too late to give your smile a festive boost. With all the extra socialising that December brings – not to mention the mistletoe – there’s no better time to show your teeth some seasonal love with these five easy tips.
1. Brush with feeling
Telling you to brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised by the number of people who don’t brush for long enough or don’t brush well enough. Bad brushing equals plaque, which can eventually lead to tooth decay; so next time you brush, try timing yourself to see how long you really brush for. Technique is also really important – make sure you’re reaching all the surfaces of your teeth and using a gentle pressure – ‘scrubbing’ can damage your teeth’s enamel.
2. Embrace the floss
We don’t meet many flossing fans, even in our line of work. However, cleaning in between your teeth, in some way, shape or form is really important. You should be doing it once a day, preferably in the evening. If you find flossing fiddly, you might prefer to use interdental brushes, or even invest in an air flosser or waterpik.
3. Choose your tipple wisely
Some of our favourite festive drinks such as champagne and mulled wine can be laden with sugar and also very acidic. Over time frequent exposure to acids will soften and wear down your tooth enamel, potentially resulting in sensitivity, discolouration and misshapen teeth. You can avoid the problem altogether by opting for a drink with a higher pH, for example milk-based drinks. Or, more realistically, you can limit any damage by drinking through a straw, rinsing your mouth with water, and brushing with a toothpaste that contains fluoride (wait around 30 minutes before brushing).
4. Banish bad breath
Bad breath is a party no-no, especially when there’s mistletoe involved. There can be many causes of bad breath but a lot of the time it’s down to dehydration or poor oral hygiene. So, keep yourself topped up with water, brush thoroughly (see above) and keep some sugar-free chewing gum handy to refresh your breath after eating. Crunching on crudités can also help to increase your saliva flow, helping to rinse away the bacteria that causes bad breath.
5. See the pros
In the spirit of Christmas, treat your smile to a thorough clean with a dental hygienist. They will scrupulously clean your teeth, removing every trace of plaque and tartar, leaving you with a cleaner, brighter party-ready smile. They’ll also help you to improve your own brushing skills, by showing you the areas that you might be missing.
We hope you find these tips helpful, but most importantly, we hope you have a very merry Christmas!