A TOP NORTH EAST dentist is giving out timely advice for the festive season to ensure that the New Year doesn’t herald problems with teeth.
The inevitable celebrations at this time of year also bring in their wake late nights, too much alcohol and too many caffeine-rich fizzy drinks to help stay awake the following day – which can be hugely detrimental to teeth, according to one of the UK’s leading cosmetic dentists.
Dr Ken Harris, who runs Riveredge Cosmetic Dentistry in Sunderland and Newcastle, believes the round-the-clock party lifestyle that many people indulge in at this time of year can really take its toll on teeth.
And now he is highlighting some useful advice to ensure to help people in the run-up to Christmas.
“It’s that time of year when people are constantly out celebrating, with late nights and more alcohol than usual,” said Dr Harris, who has almost 35 years’ experience working in general dental practice.
“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 these, even sugar-free versions, contain significant acid in the fizz which soften the enamel on your teeth, and if you then brush softened teeth, they wear down really fast.”
Dr Harris has the following tips for anyone who is planning to party in the next few weeks:
- 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.
“It’s really important not to forget to look after your teeth at this time of year,” said Dr Harris.
“And also if you have any problems with your teeth, ensure you get them looked at before the festive season rather than wait until a time of year when there may only be emergency treatment available.
“Nobody wants Christmas and New Year spoiled by toothache or with any other issues which could be avoided.”
Dr Harris is one of the UK’s foremost cosmetic dentists and a multi-award winner. With almost 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.