The Christmas and New Year period is not the best time of year for your teeth. The temptation to eat foods high in sugar and indulge in a few more festive drinks than you would do normally can put your teeth under extra strain. And normal routines, including brushing your teeth twice daily, can go out of the window.
Now with the festivities behind us it’s really important to pay extra attention to your oral health – it is not only good for your overall wellbeing but can also help your bank balance as you avoid costly treatment in the year ahead.
A global concern
While it may not be the most uplifting of topics for this time of year, the latest oral health report from World Health Organisation (WHO) reminds us that oral diseases affect nearly 3.5 billion people worldwide, and while largely preventable and treatable in their early stages, they pose a major health burden for many countries.
Most cases are dental caries (tooth decay), periodontal (gum) diseases, tooth loss and oral cancers. Oral cancer includes cancers of the lip and other parts of the mouth and throat and these combined rank as the 13th most common cancer worldwide.
Marketing of food and beverages high in sugar, as well as tobacco and alcohol, has led to a growing consumption of products that contribute to oral health conditions and related noncommunicable diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes.
Prevention is the best medicine
But all is not lost! The consequences of oral diseases and related conditions can be reduced by concentrating on the common risk factors. These include:
- Following a balanced diet that’s low in free sugars, contains plenty of fruit and vegetables and favours water as the main drink.
- Stopping smoking and the use of all forms of tobacco.
- Reducing alcohol consumption.
- For those involved in contact sports or who travel on bicycles and motorbikes, the use of protective equipment such as mouthguards to reduce the risk of facial injuries.
Try to stick to unprocessed, unrefined, natural foods wherever possible and check the ingredients of food, drinks and medicines carefully. Remember that sugar can be added to both sweet and savoury products (and reducing sugar consumption can help your post-Christmas waistline as well!).
Don’t forget to brush
Adequate exposure to fluoride is an essential factor in the prevention of dental caries. It is recommended to use fluoride-containing toothpaste (1000 to 1500 ppm) twice a day for around 2 minutes to keep your teeth and mouth healthy.
543 is here to help
Following a good cleaning and brushing routine at home is one thing, but regular visits to the hygienist are also vital to maintain good oral health and are an important addition to regular check-ups. Our highly trained hygienists focus on ensuring plaque and tartar are removed from all surfaces of the teeth including below the gumline where the most damage can occur.
We also fully understand that our patients are feeling the impact of the increased cost of living and are looking to find ways to budget more carefully. Rather than risk missing essential dental treatment, maybe consider joining 543 Dencare – all the care you need to safeguard your dental health with no unpleasant financial surprises, paid for in manageable monthly payments across the year.
Take care of your oral health and book your routine hygiene or dental appointment now by calling 01482 565 488. For more information on joining 543 Dencare please visit 543dentalcentre.co.uk/543-dencare/