There’s a certain set of foods that many of us expect to see on the table on the 25th December. Actually, there’s a certain set of foods that many of us expect to see throughout the entirety of December. Eggnog, mince pies, roast turkey… Some items are apparently ‘just for Christmas’.
This kind of attitude can have a strange effect on our usual healthy practices. Because these items are seen as Christmas-specific, we file them away in the ‘treat’ category in our heads, reasoning that a mince pie won’t hurt because ‘after all, Christmas is only once a year’. Well, a solitary mince pie definitely won’t hurt. However, if they are on offer at work, at home, when at your friend’s throughout all of December, then you have to consider the effects of The Mince Pie being a staple in your diet for what adds up to one twelfth of the year. By all means, treat yourself to the festive foods you love. It’s just worth keeping track of whether the ‘as it’s Christmas’ items are one-offs or a December constant and adjusting your diet and routine accordingly.
The key culprits to consider at this time of year are sugar and alcohol. Sugar is found in confectionary, cakes and puddings but may also be lurking in products such as cranberry sauce – check the labels! The bacteria in plaque will feed off the high levels of energy that sugar provides and release acid, which then dissolves your tooth enamel and may lead to cavities. Because of the high levels of acidity in alcoholic
drinks, again these are likely to lead to the weakening of your tooth enamel and lay the foundation for cavities.
How to combat these culprits? Try and drink water after alcohol to rinse your teeth – and help prevent a hangover! On top of this, make sure to keep up your oral hygeiene regime. Fluoride toothpaste, flossing, brushing twice-daily… Lapsing over the festive season could have long term effects. And if you do have any dental concerns, contact your dentist – however inconvenient the time of year, you usually only get one set of adult teeth to look after!