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How dentally friendly is your Christmas stocking?

How dentally friendly is your Christmas stocking?
17th December 2014

For many people, particularly children, the perfect Christmas stocking is one consisting of chocolate, sweets and other magnificent sugary treats. But while it may be tempting to cram in the selection boxes, it’s a ploy that could give their teeth a nightmare before Christmas.

Sugar-filled mince pies, chocolate selection boxes and fizzy drinks that make up a traditional festive diet are all likely to pose a hazard to teeth during the holidays. Whether young or old, the message remains the same; don’t forget about your oral health.

Presents under Christmas treeChief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, said: “It is important to be extra vigilant with your oral health over the Christmas period. It is not how much sugary food and drink we consume that is the problem. It is how often we have these. If you think about how much is consumed, and how often, particularly over Christmas and Boxing Day, your teeth don’t really get the chance to recover.

“Our stockings will inevitably be filled with to the brim with sweets and other sugar-based confectionary. If this is the case, try and eat them straight after mealtimes rather than grazing on them all day. Your teeth are under attack for up to one hour after eating or drinking, and if you think about how much is consumed, and how often, particularly over Christmas and Boxing Day, your teeth don’t really get the chance to recover. Any fruit juice they have should be diluted 10 parts water to one part juice as most are acidic and many contain added sugar.

“The word to remember is moderation. Enjoy the festive period, but for your teeth’s sake, try not to overdo it.”