10 Tips to Protect Your Teeth From Holiday Excess: Alcohol & Tobacco
The holiday season is an exciting time with all kinds of festive gatherings and celebrations. Amid all the merriment, remember to take proper care of your teeth and gums. A big night out of “festivities”, including alcoholic beverages and perhaps some smoking may take their toll on your teeth and gums.
Drinking and smoking are both dehydrating, which can reduce the saliva in your mouth. This creates a more acidic environment that can soften tooth enamel and lead to decay. Saliva contains anti-bacterial agents that buffer acid and help to fight bacteria. Without saliva, bacteria grows in your mouth, breaks down the gums and puts your teeth in jeopardy.
So, how can you indulge in lots of festive fun without harming your teeth? Here are a few great tips:
Protect Your Teeth From Alcohol:
- Sip drinks though a straw when you’re drinking high sugar beverages such as mixed drinks, juices, soft drinks and sport drinks.
- Use soda instead of soft drinks as a mixer.
- Drink plenty of water when consuming alcohol and afterwards, as it dilutes the acid in your mouth. A one to one measure is always good – one glass of wine, one glass of water. Be sure to drink lots of water the next day too.
- Don’t brush your teeth right after drinking because the acid in the drinks has softened your teeth’s enamel. Wait for at least 20 to 60 minutes before brushing to let the saliva in your mouth harden the enamel again.
Protect Your Teeth From Tobacco:
- If you’re a smoker, be sure to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly to reduce plaque buildup on your teeth.
- Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production.
- If you go to bed without brushing your teeth, you’re letting plaque build up. Don’t brush your teeth harder the next morning – that won’t help – it just brushes away the tooth enamel. The best thing to do is to always brush and floss before going to sleep.
Other Tips to Keep Your Teeth White:
- Teeth are porous so they will pick up stains from red wine, coffee, and spicy foods. Drinking water also helps reduce the staining.
- Brighten your teeth by brushing daily with whitening toothpaste and especially, the morning after consuming staining products.
- To whiten your teeth properly until they sparkle, speak to your dentist at Dawson Dental about professional ZOOM! Teeth Whitening.
The dentists at Dawson Dental hope that by following these tips you will have a safe, happy & healthy holiday season. Your teeth will be sure to thank you for it!
Dawson Dental Centres are knowledgeable, caring Toronto dentists in 14 locations across Ontario including Toronto, Cambridge, Aurora and more. We offer General & Cosmetic Dentistry services such as dental implants, Invisalign invisible braces and dental veneers. New patients are always, warmly welcome!