It’s easy to overlook special holidays like Easter while social distancing regulations are in place. Usually an occasion spent visiting family members; travelling nationally or internationally; attending religious services, and celebrating with friends, this year will be a different experience for everyone.
That doesn’t mean you still can’t celebrate at home, enjoying chocolate Easter eggs and quarantinis by the handful! Though it’s important to maintain a great oral hygiene routine this holiday break, so we’ve got 5 tips to help you keep your dental health in check this Easter.
1) Remember to floss and brush twice a day
Brushing and flossing is particularly important over Easter, when you usually consume more sugar than normal.
It’s easy to pick up bad oral hygiene habits since you first learned to brush your teeth, but the most vital thing for a great clean is to do it for the right amount of time. You should be brushing for 2 minutes twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed. Some people prefer using an electric toothbrush, as it generally removes more plaque than a manual toothbrush, but that still requires the same amount of time.
Seeing as half the surface of your teeth is between them, it’s just as important to make sure you’re flossing before or after you brush. Flossing removes any food stuck between your teeth that causes bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. It reaches places that your toothbrush can’t, yet surprisingly it’s still something a lot of people don’t practice.
To finish off your oral hygiene routine, you can choose to rinse your mouth out with mouthwash. Mouthwash is used for a variety of reasons, such as to help with certain dental conditions or to freshen up your breath, but make sure it’s a regular part of your routine to get the best results.
2) Swap milk or white chocolate Easter eggs for dark chocolate
We’d obviously recommend avoiding sugar and chocolate as much as possible to prevent tooth decay, however Easter eggs are part of the holiday tradition. Where you can, substitute white or milk chocolate for dark chocolate. As tasty as Cadbury Crème Eggs are they contain a huge amount of sugar (6 teaspoons to be precise) per egg!
Dark chocolate usually contains less sugar and it can be effective at fighting bacteria, cavities and plaque build-up. Dark chocolate varieties contain polyphenols, which are micronutrients naturally found in plant foods, and these help to fight gum disease and neutralise bad breath.
Don’t go rushing straight to your chocolate stash though as they still contain sugar, so you need to keep up a strict dental hygiene routine!
3) Try to avoid hard boiled lollies or sticky treats
Although most sweets aren’t good for your teeth, sticky sweets in particular (such as caramels and minties) are usually jam packed with sugar that clings to the surfaces of your teeth. Sugar feeds the bacteria living in your mouth and the more you eat, the quicker the bacteria starts to produce harmful acids that decay your teeth. This can leave you with cavities, gum deterioration, weak enamel and other serious dental problems.
Another sugary treat that poses a risk to your oral health, are hard boiled lollies such as lollipops. Regardless of the fact that they have large amounts of sugar in them, hard sweets pose the risk of cracking or chipping your teeth. As an alternative to sticky or hard sweets, try chewing sugarless gum or having crunchy fruit and vegetables as snacks.
4) Drink more water
Water continues to be the most important beverage not just for your oral health, but your overall health also. Water washes out any particles of food loitering in your mouth and helps to maintain good levels of saliva. Dry mouth is a common issue due to a lack of saliva, which is the mouth’s natural mouthwash. It can be caused by certain medications, diseases or infections, lifestyle choices, and dehydration. Without enough saliva production, your teeth are easily attacked by bacteria and acid.
Over the Easter break it will be very tempting to have a glass of wine or three, but make sure you’re getting enough H2O as well. Try and substitute sugary drinks like soft drink, wine and high-sugar fruit juice, for water when you can. Rinsing your mouth out after drinking liquids that stain your teeth, such as coffee, tea and red wine, is also a good idea to maintain a healthy white smile.
5) A healthy diet equals healthy teeth
What you put into your body affects your general health but also your teeth and gums. Although it’s tempting to get up and snack every hour while at home, it’s important to make sure you’re eating a healthy diet. This applies for Easter and every other day. It’s good to understand what foods can actually help your dental health as well.
Young or old, calcium should be a key part of your diet to support strong bones and help strengthen teeth enamel. Dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurt, can provide the right calcium intake but you can also find it in a variety of plant based food as well.
Certain fruit and vegetables aid a healthy diet as they have high water concentration and require you to chew which helps saliva production. When it comes to keeping your teeth healthy, what you eat is just as vital as what you avoid. Choose teeth-friendly foods as part of your Easter break and beyond.
If you do have severe pain or trauma over the next 6 months, our DB Dental Group practices are still open to help with any dental emergencies. Don’t add poor dental health to your list of things to worry about during COVID-19, follow these tips to maintain healthy teeth and gums!