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Christmas is a time of binge eating. The effects of feasting are painful not only for the stomach and liver, but also for the teeth. How to take care of your teeth during Christmas to enter the new year with a he althy, beautiful smile?

Festive dishes are caloric bombs. They are greasy, heavy, and worst of all for teeth - full ofsugarsandacids . Intense, viscous sauces for roasts, tasty cheesecakes, poppy seed cake and gingerbread, citrus fruits served as snacks and wine washed down at family tables. All of these treats can leave you with more than a full stomach, liver "lump" and heartburn. For the oral cavity, the Christmas "food marathon" is a tough endurance test that, at best, can end up with an unpleasant odor from the mouth, and at worst - with hypersensitivity. However, the dental effects of the holidays can be prevented by following the rules of hygiene, as well as by implementing a few tricks to protectteeth .

First: get rid of leftover food quickly

- Minimize the time in your mouth with leftover sweetness such as chocolate, cookies or cakes. The easiest way is, of course, to brush your teeth with a medium-hard toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, or to rinse your mouth with a special non-alcoholic liquid. In this way, you will get rid of food residues on your teeth, and thus prevent the multiplication of bacteria that feed on, among others. glucose, fructose and sucrose - says the dentist Kamil Stefański from the Center of Implantology and Orthodontics at Dentim Clinic in Katowice.

Second: drink water if you can't brush your teeth

This isn't always possible though, especially if you're at a party. Therefore, if you eat a lot, also drink a lot of water. Rinsing the mouth with still, preferably highly mineralized water rich in calcium, fluorine and magnesium is the easiest way to remove food stuck to the tooth, flush out sugars, and quickly provide the enamel with essential minerals. Drinking water also stimulates the salivary glands to produce saliva, a natural leaching substance. Always keep a bottle of water with you, even if you drink wine, tea or dried fruit compote with lunch. In each of these cases, the water will act as a neutral rinse that will wash out not only sugar, but also e.g. tannins and tannins thatare found in wine and cause discoloration on the surface of the teeth. The water will also remove the new colonies of bacteria formed by the excess sugar.

Third: chew gum, equal pH

During the holidays, be sure to keep an eye on the pH level in your mouth. A neutral pH is 7. When you eat a lot of sweets, bacteria convert sugars into acids (mainly lactic acid), acidifying the oral environment and lowering the pH to 5.5 and even lower. The same happens when, for example, you eat a lot of citrus, sauerkraut, bigos or sourdough borscht. There are plenty of these dishes during the holidays. Helpful in regulating the pH are sugar-free chewing gums, which should be chewed immediately after eating. The work of the mandibular muscles stimulates the work of the salivary gland. The lips become better moisturized, and the emerging liquid neutralizes the acids that the bacteria produced or that you provided yourself with food. Pay attention to what gum you are chewing. Gum with added sugar is a bad choice. If already sweetened, for example with xylitol. Remember not to chew gum for too long. Preferably about 10-20 minutes. Too long and intense chewing can cause pain in the muscles of the face, temples and jaw.

Fourth: be careful when you brush your teeth

Paradoxically, when you eat a lot, heavy, sweet, and especially sour, also watch out for… brushing your teeth. It's a bad idea to brush them right after a meal. Especially if you eat, for example, oranges, grapefruits, pomelos, sauerkraut, sour rye soup or drank wine or fruit juice. Wait up to 40 minutes to brush your teeth. The acids that are in contact with the teeth in these dishes soften their enamel, making it more susceptible to micro cracking. If such soft enamel comes into contact with the brush, you can damage it. So before you reach for the toothbrush, you can balance the pH in your mouth by drinking a glass of water or chewing gums.

Fifth: make friends with the thread

A sudden change in the diet and the appearance of a large dose of sugar, alcohol, acids and tannins in it also requires a temporary change in daily hygiene. Dentists recommend a temporary increase in the frequency of brushing your teeth from a minimum of 2 times 2 minutes (morning and evening) to 3 times 2 minutes each. The third time should take place in the middle of the day. Also get a new brush, necessarily with a soft bristle that does not irritate the gums or enamel. Also, use dental floss more often. Especially if you eat foods, foods with fibers that enter the gaps between your teeth. You can also use a special spatula or scraper that removes plaque from the surface of the tongue. It is also recommended to use mouthwashes as a complement to brushing.

Sixth: nogive up heartburn because it hurts … your teeth

Make sure you don't get heartburn during the holidays. Symptoms of reflux and excess acid not only irritate the stomach, esophagus and throat, but also affect the teeth. Stomach acid can lead to for enamel erosion. Frequent exposure of the teeth to its effect causes the enamel to soften. What's more, the gastric contents returning to the esophagus acidifies the oral cavity environment, lowering the pH, but also causing dry mouth and faster development of dangerous bacteria, such as for tooth decay or gum disease. How to deal with this? If you've been diagnosed with GERD, avoid anything that is fatty, sour, or deep-fried in oil or butter. Unfortunately, chocolate and coffee are also forbidden. When brushing your teeth, use only fluoride toothpaste with a concentration of 1300-1500 ppm. This way you can rebuild micro damage caused by acids. Also, don't forget to rinse your mouth with water frequently.

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