Hartlepool dentist reveals festive dental health tips - and chocolate is allowed!

Good news! Chocolate is good for your teeth (sort of) ...
Good news! Chocolate is good for your teeth (sort of) ...

If you want to look after your teeth this festive season, ditch the Christmas pudding in favour of a chocolate bar.

Yes, you read that right.

Mydentist, based at Victoria Road, Hartlepool, has revealed some top tips for your oral hygiene this December - and the fact that chocolate isn't as bad for the chompers as we thought is definitely worth celebrating!

Elaine Hudson, practice manager, said: “From eating chocolate rather than Christmas pudding to feeding relatives with bad breath an endless supply of tea, there are lots of little changes people can make to their own dental routine, and their relatives, that will help keep mouths healthy this festive period.

“We’ve picked out some of the quirkier things people may not know and added a festive twist.”

Eat chocolate? Well sort of. Dried fruit found in abundance in Christmas puddings has been the fashionable choice over chocolate recently because it seems healthier. But the sugar from dried fruit sits on teeth, which over time can cause tooth decay. Chocolate contains fat and doesn’t stick to teeth the same way. Other more tooth-friendly snacks include breadsticks, toast, cheese, nuts and seeds.

Tea’s up! Great for the morning after the night before, 70% of our dietary intake of fluoride comes in a cuppa, the flavonoids in tea protect against decay and gum disease and tea polyphenols can counter bad breath.

Avoid snacking: A tall order over Christmas, but constant grazing is spectacularly bad for teeth. It’s not about the sugar we eat but how often our teeth come under attack. If you must snack - limit it to twice a day.

Don’t brush your teeth after eating: That’s because the acid in food “demineralises” the tooth for an hour after eating and softens the enamel.

Don’t rinse: Stop, after brushing try and avoid rinsing your toothpaste out, because the fluoride in toothpaste will continue to protect the teeth for at least 30 minutes afterwards.

Brush for two minutes twice a day: Even when you’re full of turkey and feel like falling into bed without brushing. Brushing for at least two minutes twice a day and reach every part of your mouth to keep your mouth clean and healthy.

As renowned as the Americans are for criticising their cousins over the pond and slapping us with horrible mouth-hygiene jokes, research shows 92% of American adults have signs of tooth decay compared to just 28% of us here.

The practice Victoria Road provides NHS and private dentistry and offers flexible payment options. For more information about the surgery, click here.