Ways to look after your teeth this Christmas

With Christmas getting close, everyone is ready and geared up for the Holidays. Pies, selection boxes and never-ending sweets will definitely make their way in to our festive diets. It’s a great time of year, but spare a thought for your teeth. Constant snacking and drinking sugary foods and beverages can make the Holiday period miserable for your teeth.christmas-apple-pie-R123359-ss

Some traditional Christmas foods like cranberries, the perfect pair with your turkey, are scientifically proven to be beneficial to your overall health. In fact, they have been proven to help prevent both gum disease and tooth decay. However, moderation is necessary as cranberries are acidic and shouldn’t be eaten too often.

That means it is important to be extra aware of your overall health this holiday season.  Remember, teeth are under attack for up to one hour after eating or drinking, and if you think about how much is consumed and how often, your teeth don’t really get the chance to recover.

So please forgive this Grinch-y post, but make sure your teeth don’t suffer the festive blues. Here are some ways to look after them in the upcoming weeks.

1. Beware of pies, Christmas cake and pudding

Mince pies, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding may satisfy millions of people after a traditional Christmas dinner, but one thing they do not satisfy is your teeth. They are all laden with dried fruit, which is high in sugar. These kinds of foods stick to teeth and can cause the most damage, particularly if we’re gorging on them throughout Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

2. Say cheese!

Cheese is great for teeth. It helps to return the mouth to its natural acid balance and help reduce the chances of developing tooth decay. That’s why cheeseboards after the main meal are a great idea. Even a little piece of cheese can have the same effect.

3. Use the bottle opener

We can all confess to opening a beverage bottle with your teeth at some point in our lives. Please remember that you’re teeth aren’t tools!

4. Moderation

Moderation is definitely the most important thing to remember. In order to ensure you fully enjoy this time of year without having to compromise on what you eat and drink, bear in mind it is not how much sugary food and drink you have, it is how often you have them that causes a perilous situation for oral health. It’s ok to say no to that extra sweet as the tin comes round, or have a glass of milk instead of one last glass of fizz

5. Don’t ditch the routine

The worst thing you can do is wrap up your oral hygiene routine on Christmas Eve for a few days. Christmas morning might be an exciting time for children, but if you’re a parent make them wait a little longer – it’s only two minutes after all!

Robinson and Ries Orthodontics hopes you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and New Year! We hope you remember a few of these tips in the midst of the Holiday celebrations.

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Sleep tips: 7 steps to a better sleep

Feeling crabby lately? Or simply worn out? Perhaps the solution is better sleep.
Think about all the factors that can interfere with a good night’s sleep — from pressure at work and family responsibilities to unexpected challenges, such as layoffs, relationship issues or illnesses. It’s no wonder that quality sleep is sometimes elusive.
Studies show that the gap between getting just enough sleep and getting too little sleep may affect your health, your mood and your weight. If you are getting les than the recommended seven or eight hours of sleep a night, start with these simple tips.

  1. Stick to a sleep schedule

Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, holidays and days off. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night. There’s a caveat, though. If you don’t fall asleep within about 15 minutes, get up and do something relaxing. Go back to bed when you’re tired. If you agonize over falling asleep, you might find it even tougher to nod off.

  1. Pay attention to what you eat and drink.

Don’t go to bed either hungry or stuffed. Your discomfort might keep you up. Also limit how much you drink before bed, to prevent disruptive middle-of-the-night trips to the toilet.
Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol deserve caution, too. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can wreak havoc on quality sleep. And even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.

  1. Create a bedtime ritual

Do the same things each night to tell your body it’s time to wind down. This might include taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, or listening to soothing music — preferably with the lights dimmed. Relaxing activities can promote better sleep by easing the transition between wakefulness and drowsiness.
Be wary of using the TV or other electronic devices as part of your bedtime ritual. Some research suggests that screen time or other media use before bedtime interferes with sleep.

  1. Get comfortable

Create a room that’s ideal for sleeping. Often, this means cool, dark and quiet. Consider using room-darkening shades, earplugs, a fan or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs.
Your mattress and pillow can contribute to better sleep, too. Since the features of good bedding are subjective, choose what feels most comfortable to you. If you share your bed, make sure there’s enough room for two. If you have children or pets, try to set limits on how often they sleep with you — or insist on separate sleeping quarters.

  1. Limit daytime naps

Long daytime naps can interfere with nighttime sleep — especially if you’re struggling with insomnia or poor sleep quality at night. If you choose to nap during the day, limit yourself to about 10 to 30 minutes and make it during the midafternoon.
If you work nights, you’ll need to make an exception to the rules about daytime sleeping. In this case, keep your window coverings closed so that sunlight — which adjusts your internal clock — doesn’t interrupt your daytime sleep.

  1. Include physical activity in your daily routine

Regular physical activity can promote better sleep, helping you to fall asleep faster and to enjoy deeper sleep. Timing is important, though. If you exercise too close to bedtime, you might be too energized to fall asleep. If this seems to be an issue for you, exercise earlier in the day.

  1. Manage stress

When you have too much to do — and too much to think about — your sleep is likely to suffer. To help restore peace, consider healthy ways to manage stress. Start with the basics, such as getting organized, setting priorities and delegating tasks. Give yourself permission to take a break when you need one. Share a good laugh with an old friend. Before bed, jot down what’s on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow.

Nearly everyone has an occasional sleepless night — but if you often have trouble sleeping, contact your doctor. Identifying and treating any underlying causes can help you get the better sleep you deserve.

 

Courtesy of the Mayo Clinic