The original interview was conducted on 938LIVE Body and Soul segment hosted by Daniel Martin Body on the 18th of December 2013. We have summarized the interview for those who may have missed it. We hope that readers will benefit from the oral care tips discussed.

Fibrous food like vegetable and meat tend to get stuck between teeth especially when we are going house to house during the festive season. Food that are stuck in between teeth may cause discomfort and start to ache, if left unattended after 24-48 hours. Flossing with a waxed floss will often provide immediate relief. Toothpicks may be able to help provided that you are able to see the affected area and it is used with care. Toothpicks are not created equal, choose one that has a smooth texture with pointy ends. Be mindful not to push or impact food further into the gums when using toothpicks.

Parents are usually more relax with sugary treats and drinks during the holiday season. A constant supply of sugary snacks and beverages is very conducive to bacterial growth within the mouth, resulting in dental decay. This can be managed effectively if parents ensure that routine personal oral hygiene is carried out and to keep treats or snacks to meal times so that there are distinct periods of time that is food free.

A brighter smile is a common item on many people’s wish list during the holiday season. Teeth discolouration can arise due to a variety of external and internal factors. Different teeth whitening products or procedures are used to manage the different causes of teeth discolouration. Some of these products may cause sensitivity or contain active ingredients which are highly concentrated. It is recommended that you consult your dentist prior to spending time, money and effort.

The holiday season can be a source of increased stress for some individuals as they struggle to balance their personal and work commitments. This often manifest in the form of increase episodes of teeth grinding during sleep, resulting in cracked teeth or fillings. This issue is further aggravated by the increase in festive dinners and parties that one attends. Remember to wear your ‘night guards’ if you have been prescribed one by your attending dentist.

Getting together with relatives and friends is great fun for everyone. Games and sporting activities may result in unintended injuries to the front teeth. If a whole tooth is completely knocked out, retrieve it and store using fresh milk while on your way to the dentist. The chance of a good outcome will be directly related to the time of tooth reimplantation, therefore make sure you have your dentist’s emergency number.

Some of us may choose to travel during the holiday season, you can avoid dental emergencies in foreign lands by paying a visit to your dentist prior to the trip and ensuring that you pack along your toothbrush, floss and toothpaste.