The Chinese New Year or the “Spring Festival” is the most important festival in the Chinese calendar. It is believed that spring cleaning your home will chase away the bad luck from the previous year and usher in the good luck into a clean environment for the New Year.
At Specialist Dental Group (SDG), we also believe in spring cleaning, and recommend that you do not neglect your oral health this Chinese New Year. Follow the three simple steps below in preparing your teeth for all the heavy-duty chewing during the festive season:
- Visit your dentist for a regular check-up to make sure there are no undetected problems that might flare up during the holiday period (remember, many dental clinics are closed this time).
- Moderation is key. Go easy on the consumption of food that requires more time to chew or suck, such as sweets and hard nuts.
- Always bring your toothbrush with you. It allows you to brush after a snack or a big meal, to make sure the niangao (sticky rice cake) and other sweet foodstuff do not stick to your teeth.
SDG has seen an estimated increase in visits during the holiday period of between 25%-50% from cases such as dislodged fillings, fractured teeth and even wisdom teeth issues. TMJ pain is also a common complaint.
Lack of sleep and less fluid replacement for the body may also result in bodily stress and this may manifest as teeth grinding or teeth clenching in the night. This may also contribute to jaw pain, jaw ache, headaches and neck aches.
For the younger children, we advise that parents bring them along with their dental check-ups and ensure any underlying issues are addressed early. You can help to watch their diets by introducing them to healthier snacks such as; cheese, carrot sticks, or fruits.
Tips to keep possible dental problems at bay during the Chinese New Year feasting:
- Avoid chewing too many hard nuts, hard candy or ice cubes as they tend to weaken your tooth enamel, making the enamel vulnerable to cracking.
- Drink enough water to avoid dehydration, which reduces the saliva flow and depresses the pH level in your mouth. Wait for the pH level in your mouth to neutralize before consuming more acidic or carbonated soft drinks.
- Prevention is better than cure – brush your teeth after eating.