The holiday season is here with us again and Nyama Choma will be the main item on our menus. To wind up the meal a tooth pick will be required to remove the bits of meat stuck between the teeth.

Conventional tooth picks are mainly the wooden types found in most common restaurants and hotels. Other types are plastic found in supermarkets and chemist. These are more durable and do not break into the gums. They are also cleansable and reusable unlike the wooden types that are for single use only.

Tooth picking as a social habit aids to remove the remnant food particles is acceptable. However, if continuously used the habit may cause serious damage to the gums. Injuries to the gum lead to gum bleeding that progress on to cause gum infection. Another common problem is broken wooden splints that get lodged in the gum resulting to serious infections.

Where necessary avoid using a tooth pick and instead carry a dental floss. This causes less damage to the gums and effectively removals most of the food stuck between the teeth.

Remember an annual dental check up with a regular clean up helps to remove all food debris stuck between your teeth for the year. This prevents accumulation of bacteria that results to gum disease like gum bleeding and swelling that later progress on to weak, sensitive and mobile teeth.

So as you break for Christmas and enter the New Year do keep you gums and teeth healthy and your smile brighter.