With the festive season upon us, we all find ourselves invited to more functions, workplace gatherings and family get togethers. We relish in the window of opportunity we get to indulge more over the Christmas period. There’s nothing quite like the party season, but with the temptation of delicious food and drinks, along with late nights and post party hangovers, it can play havoc on our patients’ teeth. It’s at this time of year, we can often see good oral health routines go out the window.
Help your patients maintain a healthy white smile over the Christmas period using waiting room TV:
1) It may surprise your patients to hear that Christmas pudding is one of the worst things for their teeth. The sticky, fruity goodness may taste like Christmas with every bite, but it sticks to teeth and lingers in the hard-to-reach places, putting their teeth at risk of tooth decay. And similarly, with the amount of mince pies we get through over Christmas in the UK, flossing is more important than ever over the holidays.
Alternate your wine
2) For those patients who have had treatments like composite bonding or tooth whitening, Christmas goodies can increase the risk of tooth stain. One thing they can do is avoid frequently indulging in red wine. Darker red wines like Merlot and Malbec are worse for tooth staining then lighter grape wines like Pinot Noir. White wine is also a good alternative or alternating red wine with a good swill of water after.
Eat cheese to balance oral pH
3) We have many videos in our library explaining how frequent sugar intake is the culprit behind tooth decay. But patients could benefit from a reminder when they are grazing at the buffet this Christmas. A good sugar free Christmas snack could be crackers and cheese. Cheese may not be great for the waistline (then again, what is at Christmas?), but it’s certainly better for their teeth than sugar.
Festive coffee – sugar attack!
4) You know it’s nearly Christmas when Costa and Starbucks start to release their festive ranges as soon as Halloween is over. It gives us plenty of time to indulge in the festive favourites like gingerbread and eggnog lattes. But even if your patient doesn’t add sugar, they are laden with syrups that increase the risk of decay. A large eggnog latte can have up to 52g of sugar! Patients can make the switch to sugar free syrups when they order and don’t indulge too often. Remember from tip 3, daily frequency is the culprit. Remind your patients to not forget about those hidden sugars. Even if they don’t add it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there!
Reduce carbonated drink
5) Fizzy and carbonated drinks are acidic on the teeth, as well as acidic drinks such as wine. To avoid dealing with the damage caused by diet changes over Christmas, advise your patients to sip fizzy and carbonated drinks through a straw and avoid frequency. Cheese can neutralise acid, so it’s ok to hit the cheese board in these circumstances (wink wink).
Floss and maintain healthy habits
6) Don’t let late nights from all the festive parties stop your patients from brushing their teeth when they get in. After all, their evening clean before climbing into bed is the most important brush of the day, no matter what early hour of the morning it is that they get home. Flossing might be a tall order, but if we can really get the message to them that we need to remove biofilm every 12 hours, they can make good choices if it becomes a late night dancing around the Christmas tree.
We have made it easy for you to get these festive messages to your patients, by creating a Christmas top tips video for your Envisage Dental waiting room TV. Show them you care this Christmas and let them benefit from some great tips from your team, while they wait for their appointment over the next few weeks, as we count down to the big day.