A LEADING expert has revealed his advice for staying off a dentist’s naughty list this Christmas.

Toffees, nuts and fizz may all be part and parcel of a festive celebration, but Dr Ken Harris, of award-winning Riveredge Cosmetic Dentistry, Sunderland, warns that seasonal treats could be having a detrimental effect on teeth.

And, while Christmas is a time to eat, drink and be merry, many dental surgeries are closed over the holidays so it’s more vital than ever to practise excellent oral care.

“It’s that time of year when people are constantly out celebrating, with late nights and more alcohol than usual,” said Dr Harris, who is one of the country’s most qualified cosmetic dentists and lectures around the globe.

“This can lead to dehydration and reduce the flow of saliva, which helps protect teeth, putting people at real risk of acid damage.

“Many people then compound the problem by drinking energy drinks to stay awake. Carbonated drinks like this, even sugar-free versions, contain significant acid in the fizz which soften the enamel on the teeth, and if you then brush softened teeth, they wear down really fast.”

And Dr Harris, who has more than 35 years’ experience working in general dental practise, advises anyone who thinks they may have an existing problem to get their teeth checked before Christmas.

“The last thing anyone wants to be doing is sitting at home nursing a toothache or a loose tooth when they should be enjoying themselves,” he said.

“It’s really important not to forget to look after your teeth at this time of year, and far better to get any potential problems dealt with before Christmas and New Year.”

Dr Harris suggests anyone planning to party in the next few weeks follow these tips:

  • Don’t brush your teeth straight after having carbonated drinks or fruit juice. This could actually damage teeth because tooth enamel would be softened by the acid.
  • Wait four hours after having fizzy drinks before brushing your teeth – giving the enamel time to harden up again.
  • Drink plenty of water, especially if you exercise a lot.
  • If you vomit, do not brush your teeth immediately, but rinse your mouth with water.

Dr Harris is one of the UK’s foremost cosmetic dentists and a multi-award winner. With more than 35 years of experience, he has an MSc in Restorative & Aesthetic Dentistry and is a Fellow of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

He is a member of the AACD (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry) and acts as UK clinical director for California Center for Advanced Dental Studies in San Francisco along with lecturing around the globe.

For more information visit www.riveredge.co.uk or call 0191 567 1020