Did you catch Dr Debbie Hong’s live radio interview show on 938 live with Daniel Martin on Wednesday, February 11th? In tune with the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations, Dr Hong was invited to talk about the kind of damage a few days of feasting can do to your teeth.
You may have noticed snaking lines forming outside Bak Kwa shops, and many of us have stocked up on yummy goodies like pineapple tarts, nuts, and sweets.
Every beginning of the year we make resolutions to start our diet, exercise regularly, read etc. but as we move along the year, life catches up and the tendency to not be able to follow through with our intentions or putting it off to ‘tomorrow’ happens. However, we all know that consistency is key. The same theory applies when it comes to caring for your teeth. Maintenance of oral hygiene is something that needs to be done regularly and on a daily basis. So during this celebratory period when we cannot help but take a bite or two of the bak kwa, nian gao (sticky rice cake) or that handful of nuts, here’s what you should note.
1. Frequent munching between meals may cause the acids level in the mouth to remain high constantly, which will cause damage to your teeth. In fact, constant regular munching will cause more damage to the teeth rather than eating a greater amount, but less often.
2. Dr Hong recommends a visit to the dentist to spring clean your mouth before the New Year to make sure that your teeth are in good condition. A dental clinic may not be easily available for emergencies during this festive period and you would not want a toothache to disrupt your joyful mood.
3. Sticky foods such as niangao, pineapple tarts or toffee adhere well to tooth surfaces and are more difficult for saliva to wash away. Saliva rebalances the pH level in the mouth, slows down mineral loss from the teeth and allows repair to take place. Sufficient time must be given for the pH level in your mouth to return to normal.
4. Drink water in-between snacking and meals. Water keeps you hydrated so that you will less tendency to reach for that can of carbonated soda. It also encourages saliva flow which helps to maintain a netural pH level in your mouth. If you must, drink with a straw to minimize contact with your teeth.
We hope you enjoy your Chinese New Year celebration with family and friends. Bear these tips in mind and it will still be possible to enjoy these snacks.
Have a ‘Goat’ Year ahead from everyone at Specialist Dental Group®!