Ah, the holidays. They remind us of laughing with family and friends, the smell of pine trees, and stuffing our stomachs to our heart’s content. While you may find yourself needing to leave those jeans unbuttoned after dinner, your stomach isn’t the only thing you should be paying attention to. Your teeth are equally, if not more important, when watching what you eat, especially during the holidays! With ooey, gooey peanut brittle and snappy peppermint bark at your fingertips, your teeth are taking one for the team. Before your next visit to Shoreline Dental Studio, we’ve come up with a naughty-list when it comes to holiday foods to keep in mind when you’re snacking away this season.
- Sticky Foods
Put down that handful of caramel corn! While popcorn isn’t necessarily bad for your teeth, covering it in sticky caramelized sugar is. Any foods that have the ability to stick to your teeth, especially in the form of a sugar, are one of the main culprits of tooth decay. Bacteria will thrive off the sticky, sugary residue left on your teeth and produce an acid capable of wearing down your enamel. If you just can’t resist, please remember to brush your teeth afterwards to remove some of the stick.
- Hard Candy
Think about a candy cane – the ultimate candy symbol of the holiday season. While you may love its sweet peppermint taste, your teeth do not. Hard candy is rough on teeth because you hold it in your mouth much longer than other foods. Paired with a heavy dose of sugar, hard candy isn’t ideal for steering clear of cavities. If you must have a peppermint fix, opt for a bite of peppermint chocolate instead.
- Sugary Beverages
While sugary beverages are usually on the “do not drink” list when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy, this is especially true for holiday drinks. Nothing rings in the season like eggnog and hot cocoa, but these drinks are filled with sugar that can do some real damage to teeth when taken overboard. When possible, choose water or iced tea to satisfy your beverage needs. This doesn’t mean you have to abstain completely, but be aware of what you’re consuming.
If you find yourself unable to control your sugar consumption, there are tricks to pull out of your sleeve when in need.
- Try to limit consuming holiday treats and beverages when you’re eating a balanced meal. This will control how much sugar you are consuming.
- Keep your mouth occupied with sugar-free chewing gum when you’re tempted to snack.
- Brush your teeth in the middle of the day to clean some of the snacking damage away. Even swishing your mouth with water after a sugary beverage can help remove some of the sugars that might try to stick to your teeth.
We hope you have a wonderful time with plenty of friends and family during this holiday season. While this list of holiday goodies will inevitably be devoured, we hope that this article will keep you prepared to protect those teeth! Remember your friends at Shoreline Dental Studio if the holiday treats have left you with an aching tooth, or when you’re ready to start your new year with a fresh, clean smile.