With any luck we will be all hitting the clubs in a few weeks time, but are your teeth ready for all those selfies and Insta posts?
Those photos that invariably end up on social media (often without your permission), are the ones most likely to show any damage done to your teeth by a lack of care. After months of doing the absolute minimum – or was that just me? – it’s not too late and there are some things you can do to minimise any harm done to teeth and gums. As you venture out to restaurants and bars to consume your own weight in good food and alcohol – or is that just me again? – here’s how to protect what you have left…
We spoke to Dental expert, Dr Mark Buddha, about how to keep your teeth healthy – he gave us some top tips on how to maintain our teeth and gums, especially during a time of celebration. Try the below for your life after lockdown:
Top tip 1: Avoid Prosecco – “80% of tooth problems, are caused by acid attacks on the teeth. The acidic nature of Prosecco can cause long-term damage to the teeth. If you start drinking early, then your enamel is under attack for the entire day which will cause erosion and can lead to sensitivity, pain and increase the risk of tooth decay. Prosecco hits your front teeth first and then rolls down and goes over the top of the back teeth before you swallow it. If possible, try to treat Prosecco like a cocktail and use a straw.”
Top tip 2: Drink clear drinks – “You may think they are healthy but fruit juices are best avoided due to their acidic nature. Swap your mimosa for a vodka and soda water – clear drinks are better for you as they won’t stain teeth and a vodka soda actually kills off bacteria responsible for causing bad breath. A G&T is also a great alternative as it naturally contains less acid. Mulled wine is best avoided – the red wine stains your teeth and mulled wine contains high levels of sugar. Offset damage by having a glass of milk – or dairy free alternative – it contains a protein called caseins which helps form a protective film over enamel preventing decay.”
Top tip 3: Eat ALL THE CHEESE! – “Every time you eat, you’re feeding the bacteria in your mouth, which in turn produces acid. Luckily for cheese lovers, the cheeseboard is a great way to offset damage to teeth as cheese is naturally alkaline and helps neutralise acid build up and return the mouth’s pH balance back to normal. As well as cheese, other healthy alkaline buffet options include fresh vegetable crudites and hummus. Avocados are great too – opt for a fresh guacamole dip with your drinks – and nuts, especially almonds, are a good choice. Just be wary of the extra calories mounting up.”
This is a toothbrush…use it.
Top tip 4: Brush at night – “We all want to roll straight into bed after a wild night of partying, but try not to skip out on brushing your teeth which could become a habit after too many late nights! If you happen to forget to brush the teeth after a heavy night out, then make up for it with a good clean and floss the next day, despite the hangover! It is important for your teeth to be brushed twice daily with fluoride-based toothpastes to protect against damage. Also, bear in mind alcoholic drinks can be full of sugar so maintaining good oral hygiene habits is key to not end up having acute dental problems.”
Top tip 5: Don’t get drunk and open bottles with your teeth – “This may seem obvious, but time and time again, I see broken and chipped teeth, from over confident party animals getting their mouths around bottle tops to do the bottle opening trick. The caps on the bottles will cause serious damage to teeth if we try and force them open, not to mention cut the insides of your mouth and gums. So don’t risk it and have a bottle opener nearby.”
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