FESTIVE revellers overdosing on Christmas cake, chocolate, crisps and champagne face possible tooth decay because of the high sugar content in such party favourites.
The festive season is a time when people eat more sugar – and more frequently – than at any other time of the year and that can cause serious problems for teeth unless sensible and straightforward steps are taken.
The warning comes from leading Glasgow dentist, Dr Ambigai Jeyabalan, who said there are a number of ways to counteract the potential impact of excess sugar intake.
“The continuous sugar dosage over the festive period means teeth are under constant attack because saliva doesn’t get a chance to do its job properly,” said Dr Ambi, owner of the Kalyani Dental Lounge and Pomegranate Gallery in Bath Street.
“Outwith this party season, our teeth usually get time to recover after eating sugary or acidic food and drinks as we can brush an hour later. That’s because, by this time, our mouth reaches its neutral ph level thanks to our saliva.
“That doesn’t happen at party time. “
But, Dr Ambi said that there was no need for people to become party poopers or miss out on a good time as there are simple measures that can be taken to protect teeth.
“Avoiding fizzy drinks as well as diet and fruit juices which are very acidic and cause tooth erosion and sticking to safe snacks such as breadsticks, crackers, cheese and dried fruits can help greatly,” she said.
“And, obviously, brushing your teeth before going to bed is crucial.”
She also has oral advice for the morning after the night before.
“I know this might sound awful but if you’re sick the next morning, you shouldn’t brush your teeth immediately. The vomit is highly acidic and attacks the teeth so if you brush straight away, you brush away the protective enamel on the teeth, which has been weakened by acid.
“Using a fluoride, alcohol free, mouthwash is a better option to avoid possible acid erosion.
“Also, if you have an accident which involves your mouth then it’s best to seek the advice of a dentist immediately. Leaving it longer could create a bigger problem.”
Dr Ambi believes her advice can help people, and their teeth survive the party season.
“I am no killjoy but looking after your teeth can often be forgotten during a prolonged period of festivities,” she added.
Dr Ambi’s top tips include: