The holiday season is upon us, bringing with it joy, laughter, and an abundance of sugary treats that can pose a threat to your oral health. As we indulge in the festivities, it’s crucial to be mindful of the impact of sugar on our teeth and take steps to prevent tooth decay – a common dental woe that can dampen the holiday spirit.

Understanding tooth decay

Tooth decay, also known as dental cavities or caries, occurs when acids produced by bacteria in the mouth erode the enamel, the protective outer layer of the teeth. This process is often fuelled by the consumption of sugary foods and drinks, making the holiday season a potential risk period for dental health.

Who is at risk?

Everyone is susceptible to tooth decay, but certain factors increase the risk. Poor oral hygiene practices, frequent snacking on sugary foods, and inadequate dental care routines contribute to the likelihood of developing cavities. Children and older adults, as well as those with conditions that decrease saliva production, are particularly vulnerable.

Do you have tooth decay?

According to the NHS website, tooth decay is often caused by having too much sugary food and drink and not cleaning your teeth and gums properly.  Check if you have tooth decay: –

  • Do you have toothache?
  • Are your teeth sensitive?
  • Do you get sharp pains in your teeth when eating or drinking hot, cold, or sweet things?
  • Do you have white, brown, or black spots on your teeth?
  • Do you have a painful build up of pus on your gumline?
  • Do you have painful, swollen and bleeding gums?

If you have any of the above symptoms, it’s important to book in a dental appointment. Our kind and caring team will never judge you, even if you haven’t visited the dentist for many years. It’s never too late to get your teeth sorted out. When you have a healthy mouth and gums, you can eat your favourite foods, are less likely to have bad breath, can keep your natural teeth for longer and it even lowers the chances of getting diabetes or suffering from a stroke. Please don’t suffer with dental pain, we are on hand to help you. Get in touch with us today.

Treatments for tooth decay

Of course, it depends on how far along the line your tooth decay is as to what treatment will be recommended. We can prescribe fluoride treatments like mouthwash or varnish to reverse early tooth decay.

If you have a cavity (hole in your tooth) you will probably need a filling. We offer composite fillings at Enhance Dental Centre in Ely. The composite material gives a natural look and can be colour matched with the rest of your teeth, meaning they can blend in beautifully.

If your tooth decay has reached the soft tissue (pulp) in the centre of your tooth, you may need root canal treatment.

We will always try to conserve teeth but sometimes the affected tooth may need to be extracted (tooth extraction).

Dietary advice

Moderation is key, especially during the holidays. Limit the intake of sugary snacks and beverages, opting for healthier alternatives when possible. Encourage drinking water after consuming sweets to help neutralise acids and cleanse the mouth.

Top tips to reduce dental cavities

Brush and floss regularly: Maintain a consistent oral hygiene routine to remove plaque and prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria.

Choose wisely: Opt for tooth-friendly snacks like fresh fruits, vegetables, and cheese instead of sticky, sugary treats.

Time your indulgences: Enjoy sugary treats with meals rather than as snacks throughout the day, reducing the frequency of acid attacks on your teeth.

Stay hydrated: Water helps rinse away sugars and acids, maintaining a healthy pH balance in your mouth.

New year, new dental goals

As the new year approaches, consider scheduling a dental hygienist appointment to kickstart a year of optimal oral health. Professional cleanings and check-ups can identify and address any issues early on, preventing potential complications.

The festive season is a time to celebrate and enjoy, but let’s ensure that our smiles stay bright well into the new year. By being mindful of our sugar intake, adopting healthy dental habits, and prioritising regular check-ups, we can navigate the holiday season while keeping our teeth merry and bright. Wishing you a joyous and cavity-free holiday season!

All the team here at Enhance Dental Centre wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2024!

Please contact us to find out more or to book an appointment

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