Protect your sweet tooth this Diwali – By Dr. Dikshya Bose

Festivals are here and few are round the corner and then come the varieties of Indian sweets and savories in the market as well as in homes. There’s absolutely no point of celebrating festivities without sweets and snacks.

But, keeping our oral hygiene well is equally important and the most prime thing, especially during festival times when we tend to binge eat sweet dishes, snacks and savories more than usual days consciously or unconsciously.

Here are few tips on how to manage your oral hygiene during these days-

  1. Avoid Sugary Drinks

Instead of having sugary drinks which contains concentrated sugar, try drinking more natural items like coconut water, tender coconut water which contains natural minerals to replenish and revive your lost minerals due to fasting and is more fresh and energetic for your body as well as your oral environment.

  1. Avoid binge-eating starchy, sugary foods

We cannot totally avoid eating starchy foods, agree, but we can keep a check on your conscience while eating. Starchy and sugary foods tend to stick to our teeth and this gives opportunity for bad bacteria to grow around it and release acid that damages the tooth structure.

  1. Keep yourself Hydrated

Hydration of body and oral cavity is very important. Not only it flushes out toxins from mouth but helps in maintaining the oral Ph level as well as helps in keeping bad smell at bay provided you include tongue cleaning also in the routine.

  1. Have more calcium rich dairy items

Dairy products like milk, cheese, paneer, curd, yoghurt, buttermilk contains calcium that helps in providing essential nutrients to teeth and makes it stronger.

  1. BE CAREFUL, for people with sensitivity

Having lot of sweets and sweet items may increase the sensitivity in few people who often complaints of it. You wouldn’t want your festive time to end up at dentist chair, so keep a watch on what you eat and how much you eat. Moderation is the key. Those who cannot tolerate sensitivity or develops pai ,please visit your nearest dentist immediately.

  1. Brush twice daily

Brushing twice daily should be the habit of everyone in the family from a child to the eldest member. For those who wear dentures, please keep the dentures clean every-time you are not wearing it and put them in clean glass/bowl of water.

  1. Rinse your mouth or Drink plenty of water

After your meals and snacks drink plenty of water or rinse your mouth properly to remove all food debris that would have got stuck to your teeth. You can use mouthwash as recommended by your dentist. That’s how you can keep your oral hygiene better everyday.

Special tips for people who are fasting during festival times:-

  1. Avoid Sugary Drinks

While breaking your fast, try drinking more natural items like coconut water, tender-

coconut water, lemon juice which contains natural minerals to replenish and revive the       lost minerals due to fasting and makes you fresher and is energetic for your body as well            as your oral environment.  Ready to drink sugary beverages contain high concentrated sugar content which is harmful for your oral as well as your overall health, changing the pH level of your oral environment which makes it more favorable for bad bacterial growth.

  1. Keep yourself hydrated

Hydration is very much required during fasting times. Drinking Water contains essential nutrients that is required in the body and replenishes the lost ions. Hydrate yourself either with plain water time to time or with low sugar content healthier juices like fruit juice, tender coconut water, coconut water etc.

  1. Have healthier alternatives for starchy snacks and foods

You can have dry fruits, raw cut fruits, makhana or fox nuts, fibre-rich fruit salads, raisins, seeds. They are high in nutrients, rich in essential elements and some are fibre rich too.

  1. Have vitamin c rich fruits

Fruits like Orange, Sweet lime, Grapefruit, Lemon, Kiwi, Apple, grapes etc contains lot of vitamin c which is best for the gums and oral cavity as they increase collagen production and hence improves gum health.

  1. Have dairy products

Products like milk, curd, plain yoghurt, cheese are best for bone and teeth. Reason being these are rich in calcium and other nutrients which is required for bone and teeth health and improves saliva quality too.

  1. Tea lovers, but fasting

Those who are fasting but love Tea way too much and can’t leave without it, for them it is better to have chamomile tea, green tea but in moderation. They are healthier alternatives to milk based tea but can affect your teeth in long run with staining and discoloration.

  1. Avoid excessively colored food

As they cause discoloration and staining of the tooth and oral tissue, some colorants may causes harmful effects on oral cavity. Check for the quality before-hand.

Special Tips for children

Parents should be extremely careful with their child’s eating habit and oral hygiene.

-Avoid giving them sweets, snacks and chocolate frequently between the meals.  -Restrict any sugary items to meal time.

– Give them more healthier snacking items instead like fruits that they like/dairy items/ dry fruits

– Give them items that contain dates/ honey which act as substitute for refined sugar and is more healthier.

– make sure after every meals and snacks, the child drinks enough water and rinse there mouth properly to avoid future cavities and other diseases.

– Avoid giving them excessively coloured food items which can irritate the teeth and oral tissue of your child.

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