Your teeth also face pitfalls in winter

A brilliant white smile looks beautiful in summer holiday photos. Bronze skin and radiant teeth are the ideal combination. Nonetheless, your teeth deserve attention with Christmas parties and festive binge eating, when they are colored by punch, red wine, tea, coffee and cigarettes. You should also be aware when they are sensitive to heat and watch out for your teeth when playing winter sports.

In these times, Christmas is virtually synonymous with being in a hurry. You’re looking for the right gift, trying to satisfy those close to you and trying to handle all the work you have to do. Company parties let you escape a bit from reality and stress. All of them include punch, mulled red wine and coffee, together not only setting the mood, but also coloring your teeth. In addition, these treats all contain sugar, which greatly increases the risk of tooth decay. “The bacteria living in your mouth contributes to the formation of dental plaque and tartar,” explains renowned dentist Dr. Valéria Michnová at ArtDentistic, her dental clinic in Bratislava. “As sugar is digested, a by-product is created – acids that disturb the tooth enamel surface and subsequently cause it to decay.”

Christmas cakes and desserts are also the bane of a healthy smile. “It’s important to minimize the creation of acids,” she advises. “After you had that Christmas punch, mulled wine and those desserts, it would be ideal to brush your teeth. Rinse your mouth with plenty of clean water and then practice thorough hygiene in your home by using interdental toothbrushes and toothpaste, a tongue scraper and mouthwash.”  Regular cleaning of your teeth every six months limits the impact of the plaque that provides bacteria with the perfect environment to thrive in. “This painless cleaning guarantees you a clean, smooth tooth surface that gives bacteria and acids no chance.”

But in winter, sugar and acids are not the only pitfalls your teeth face. Hypersensitivity to hot drinks also tells you something you shouldn’t underestimate.

Be careful both when skiing on the slopes and playing winter sports. No one would look very happy if the images from a New Year’s holiday show broken teeth or a gap caused by a tooth knocked out. “If you have an accident, it’s very important to stay calm and composed, as there's still a chance to save a knocked out tooth if it can be found and it isn’t broken. Put it in milk and urgently see your dentist, as time in this case is really of the essence,” says Dr. Libor Michnal, talking from ArtDentistic, his dental clinic in Bratislava.

Underestimating the loss of a tooth after an injury is something no experienced dentist recommends. The resulting esthetics is not the only issue. “It is strongly recommended to see a dentist because a tooth loosened or knocked out after an accident can damage the root or fracture the jaw, things not necessarily visible to the naked eye. Not seeing a dentist right away can cause other dangerous diseases to appear in the future,” he warns. If the tooth is severely damaged by the accident or cannot be found, then it may have to be replaced. A patient may opt for a conventional bridge, removable dentures or dental implants “While the first alternative abrades adjacent teeth, dentures cause problems for the tooth they replace and also the soft and hard tissue underneath,” says Libor Michna, “so here a dental implant is the ideal solution.”