To keep smiling through festivities:

With the festive fervour in the air, we will all, no doubt, indulge in sinful delicacies. And it is during this time that bacteria present in the mouth will multiply and cause diseases. But you can prevent this by exercising some caution.

* Hard as it may be, the prudent thing would be to avoid binge eating.

* Rinse your mouth vigorously even at the risk of losing the pleasant, lingering after-taste of your favourite sweet. It is a good way of preventing bacteria
accumulation anywhere in the mouth.

* After eating a particularly sticky sweet, you can consider brushing, especially those who already have a number of decayed teeth or diagnosed gum problems.

* Brushing diligently, twice a day, is mandatory. Inter-dental aids such as floss or interdental brush must be used at least once a day, preferably in the night

* An antibacterial mouth wash may be used at least for as long as the festive season lasts.

* Children are more susceptible to diseases during this time. Parents are often too held up with other things to pay attention.

However, it is important to exercise extra vigil to ensure that children continue to take care of their teeth, even while enjoying their sweets. They should brush their teeth daily and rinse their mouth with water post every meal.

* When it comes to older individuals, there is probably an increased prevalence for diseases such as diabetes.

Uncontrolled eating may not only spoil teeth, but also worsen blood sugar levels, which could in turn lead to several complications, including gum disease.

The festive season comes with its set of challenges, especially for oral hygiene. However, with a little effort, one can easily ensure good oral health and hold on to  that sparkling smile.

(The author is periodontist, Apollo White Dental)

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