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Pay attention to your oral health this Christmas

Published:Wednesday | December 18, 2019 | 12:19 AMSineal Smith/Guest Columnist

With the annual wine-and-dine season of Restaurant Week and the prestigious Dine En Blanc a mere glimpse of the past, we look on to the scrumptious Christmas season with vigorous rubbing of hands together, widened eyes and salivating mouths.

It is oh so true that we love the meeting and greeting, but with no blasphemous intentions, let’s all agree that eating is the reason for the season. We can’t wait fi get down to the ‘nyammings’.

Our taste buds get excited to join in holy matrimony with everything that usually graces the dinner table at Christmas time. We can’t wait to gulp down the flavourful concoctions of the ‘boasy’ sorrel, the timeless eggnog and the potent blow of the rum-PUNCH.

It’s needless to mention the magnitude of joy that households bear at Christmas time for all the reasons mentioned above and that unique event, moment, or person that makes Christmas extra special for us, individually. So it seems only right to agree that Christmas is the season of merry eatings and merry laughter – two very prime callings for the use of our teeth.

Good oral health enhances the Christmas experience. A lot of Jamaicans pay too little importance to the good tenants of their mouths – our gum, tongue, and teeth.

I recall an encounter I had with a family friend a few Christmases ago while he was eating a lovely dish of curried goat, fried chicken, and other such delights. I noticed that he was slightly uneasy; his gum was bleeding. He had to take an early leave from the indulgences of the dinner table. To say the least, the sight of it was unfriendly to my stomach and I had difficulty enjoying anything I ate after that. This is only one way that gingivitis can ruin Christmas for folks.

Literature tells us that we, consumers of food, should chew our food 32 times so that it can be properly broken down, aiding in digestion and proper bodily function.

How is proper mastication possible for people who have only a handful of teeth? Consider those with overwhelming teeth decay and hypersensitivity of the teeth!

Put food aside for a bit. How about those moments of great humour that calls for our teeth, tongue, and gum to talk the runway?

Many folks might express very little care in how these moments might make them feel, and that is the ‘root’ of the problem.

I am not calling readers to major in a minor thing, nor am I trying to thrust them over a precipice of unending worry. This is aimed instead at drawing attention to an aspect of their well-being that is usually ignored to their own detriment.


These oral health problems may set out to make Christmas a season of sorrow for many. Therefore, it is extremely important to etch these tips in your minds:

1. Brush two times daily with a fluoride toothpaste, even if you don’t feel like it.

2. Use a tongue cleaner – this helps to directly remove residue of food particles that will form odour in your mouth.

3. Floss – food is always hiding beneath the spaces of your teeth. The proper use of a waxed floss will make the mouth cleaner.

4. Use a teeth whitening agent, for example, peroxide, and water mixture.

5. As an alternative to the above, you make use an oil such as coconut, olive, grapeseed, or sunflower seed to rinse your mouth. It will give your teeth a pleasant polished appearance.

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