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At Oldham Orthodontics we celebrate Christmas as much as the next person. But we do take great care to ensure we don't neglect our teeth and gums in the process. Whilst the season of goodwill is fraught with dental dangers, let us give you some tips on how to fully enjoy your seasonal break whilst maintaining your teeth and gums in the best way possible.

Although this time of the year can be a little excessive in the food and drink department, the main thing you can do to stay dentally healthy is to stick to your usual routine. Now we don't mean give up the mince pies and mulled wine. Oh no! Nothing so drastic! What we mean is that your dental hygiene routine should carry on uninterrupted. Despite late nights, a few drinks, and rushing about, make sure that your teeth are always cleaned before you go to bed and that time is still made for flossing in your busier-than-usual schedule.

As we mentioned above, alcohol can play havoc with your routine, but it can also affect your eating patterns which is not good for your oral health. For most of us, having a few drinks is usually accompanied by some serious snacking, which let's face it, is very easy to do in the party season anyway. Crisps, canapes and any other small titbits are not great for your teeth, especially if there are no long breaks between meals. If it is possible to wait for your meal and not snack, it is best to do so.

The type of food on offer at Christmas is also less than optimal for your mouth and gums. At this time of year (apart from the turkey) we are offered numerous chocolates and sweet sugary foods in the form of cakes and biscuits as well as dried fruit, which although not bad for you nutritionally, is not great for your teeth. Make sure you limit your sugary food intake, or try to eat those types of foods at particular times rather than all day long. Alternatively choose less harmful options when you can - the cheeseboard is so much better your teeth than the Tiramisu.

Looking after your teeth is not that hard despite the temptations we have over Christmas and the New Year. Just remember to keep to routine, and moderate by cutting down the snacking between meals. Occasionally seeking out a healthier option when given the choice will also help to keep those teeth and gums healthy for many years into the future.