Just days after Halloween, London prepares itself for another holiday characterised by consumption — Bonfire Night. Although it is viewed as an innocent holiday, celebrated with the crack and whoosh of fireworks and the comforting scents of burning wood, Bonfire Night is historically steeped in messages of heed.
“Please to remember, the 5th of November, gunpowder, treason and plot,” is how the old rhyme goes, warning Parliament and citizens of the sinister plot that was meant to unfold all those years ago. While there is no such threat prevalent today, there are things we should be on the watch for on the 5th of November—cavities, gum disease and expanding waistlines.
The foods that have come to represent Bonfire Night are hearty, full of flavor, comfort foods—from bangers and mash to bonfire-roasted jacket potatoes and warming winter soups, Bonfire Night is a time to engorge and to feel the warmth and excitement abuzz in the atmosphere.
However, dentists warn us to be wary of too much indulgence and to remember restraint when presented with those classics: Bonfire Toffee, roasted marshallows and Yorkshire Parkin. All three of these sticky and sweet desserts symbolise Bonfire Night and will be displayed in abundance at many Bonfire Night celebrations around the country, but we should take heed not to fall out of the habit of practicing proper dental hygiene.
There are a few tips to keep in mind when enjoying your sweet treats whilst watching the fireworks:
– Sticky, sweet treats are best ingested during mealtimes, according to dentists. That is because we produce extra saliva while eating proper meals that can help to rinse away harmful bacteria found in sugars that can lead to cavities.
– Try to avoid eating sticky toffees that stick to your teeth, or if you cannot resist, be sure that you can remove the sticky traces from your teeth as soon as possible.
– After eating sweets and toffees, it is best to rinse the mouth out or brush your teeth, when applicable, so that teeth are protected from sugars resting against the enamel for prolonged periods of time.
We all enjoy sticky sweets and sugary candies and as they are a symbol of this holiday, they can be hard to avoid, but when we forget our good dental hygiene practices we put ourselves at risk for a number of serious maladies including cavities and gingivitis.
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