When you think of a traditional Christmas what comes to mind? Perhaps cardboard advent calendars full of yummy chocolates, bowls of sweets placed strategically around the house for maximum temptation and amounts of food and drink that we wouldn’t dare consume all year round. We are extremely lucky to have access to a wide variety of lovely food and drinks in our country, but this can sometimes come with a downside.
Is it possible to get through Christmas without the regret that kicks in around new years for all the naughty things we’ve had in the past month? We have a few tips that could help clear your conscience and curb the negative effects of sugar on your teeth over the silly season and beyond.
1) Have sweets with your meal
If avoiding sugary sweet food is not a realistic goal for you this holiday season, at least try to combine your sweets with another main meal of the day. For instance, try to have your advent calendar chocolate straight after lunch or dinner. Each time we eat, acids are produced in our mouth. These acids can dissolve teeth, and lead to teeth breaking down. It takes time for our teeth and saliva to recover each time we eat. This is why the frequency of snacking is important to consider during the silly season.
2) Match one for one
In the busyness of Christmas, our normal routines can often go out the window and it’s easy to forget to keep up with hydration. Plaque flourishes in a dry mouth. With the addition of a high consumption of sugar over Christmas, it’s a recipe for disaster. To overcome this, after any sugary food or snack, try to have some water. This will help to rinse the sugar out of your mouth immediately. It will also provide the fuel needed for good quality saliva, which can protect the teeth against acid attack next time you eat.
3) Get creative
We now have access to lots of sugar free recipes with a Christmas twist. You may not have tried them before, but now is the perfect time to try something new and impress your friends and family with how good you can make a sugar free alternative taste! Christmas is a time for giving, but we want to make sure we’re not giving our loved ones something that can negatively affect their health. No one wants the gift of dental decay for Christmas. So, take up the challenge of making one sugar free recipe that you haven’t tried before. It’s certainly something you can be proud of achieving before the New Year. For a delicious simple sugar free ice cream recipe with 9 variations check out our article ‘Sugar Free Ice Cream with 9 Variations’.
If you would like to discuss how your diet may be affecting your oral health book a consultation with Dr Kate Amos or Dr Sam Rosehill at Ethical Dental on 6652 3185 or book online.
For more information about how to enjoy a sugar free Christmas check out our video ‘Avoid Sugar Overload this Christmas’, or to learn more about the relationship between sugar and dental health see our article ‘Did you know… Honey is just as likely to cause tooth decay as sugar?’, ‘How Can I Prevent Dental Plaque?’ and ‘Did you know… Fructose doesn’t effect insulin the same as refined sugar?’.
Please remember to consult your doctor before making drastic dietary changes.