The most wonderful time of the year for many is right around the corner! So, what better time to swot up on what can help to keep your breath fresh this party season?
First and foremost, because you’ve still got one million presents to wrap, relatives arriving any minute and the cat has pulled down the tree doesn’t mean your regular oral hygiene routine has to fall by the wayside. Brushing your teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste is a must. Together with regular interdental cleaning, dutiful cleaning will help keep stale breath at bay.
Another way to keep your breath smelling sweet is to be careful what you consume. Breath friendly foods include fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs (think fennel as well as mint). There was a reason Santa put that orange in your stocking after all! Some foods, like apples, carrots, celery and parsley are natural breath fresheners too. Eating these can also help remove food that may get stuck between your teeth (spinach in your teeth is never a good look!).
And while the mulled wine and classic snowballs may look alluring, remember to keep up your water intake. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it increases urine production, leading to dehydration. This can result in reduced saliva production, creating a dry mouth. Saliva plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health by washing away food particles, neutralising acid, and preventing bacterial growth. Without enough saliva, the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath increases. Eek.
On top of that, when you drink that enticing glass of Champagne it undergoes a process called oxidation within the body. This process converts alcohol into acetic acid, which contributes to bad breath too. Additionally, some festive favourites, such as wine and spirits, have a high ethanol content, which can make the problem worse.
Staying hydrated helps keep your mouth moist, preventing the growth of odour-causing bacteria. Drinking or rinsing with water can also reduce ‘morning breath’ after a heavy night on the tiles… And if you live in a part of the country that has fluoridated water, you’re also helping to strengthen your teeth’s enamel!
Not to be a party pooper, but alcohol is high in sugar and acidic properties too, contributing to tooth erosion. Sad to say, a bottle of wine can contain anywhere between 0g and 59g of free sugars per bottle. Given the government guidelines recommend no more than 30g of free sugars per day for an adult, this means it’s possible to reach almost this entire amount of sugar by drinking two medium-sized glasses of wine. Continuous exposure to acid weakens the enamel, making teeth more susceptible to cavities and decay. Now that’s a Christmas present you don’t want!
While it’s a little po-faced to suggest “moderation in all things” this festive season, it’s better to remember the words of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus: “Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abundance”.
Wishing you all a very merry Christmas!
Dental Health Plan