Avoid the Holiday Treats that Damage Teeth
Eat right this season and protect your teeth into the new year.The time between Thanksgiving and New Year is a period when all of us do a lot more snacking. The temptation of sweet treats, delicious drinks, and decadent desserts is especially powerful when you’re surrounded by them for six weeks. We all know that this is hard on our waistlines, but did you ever consider the effect holiday treats have on your teeth? Even if you’re diligent about brushing and flossing it’s easy to do lasting damage with all those new foods you’re eating. In order to help you protect your teeth this holiday season we’ve put together a list of the holiday treats that damage your teeth the most:
- Eggnog – Eggnog is full of sugar which is always bad for your teeth. But since this drink often has alcohol in it as well it dries your mouth out and prohibits the production of saliva. That means the sugar residue stays in your mouth for longer and does more damage.
- Candy Canes – These holiday staples are also loaded with sugar. But what makes them especially bad for your teeth is that they take a long time to finish. Unlike a cookie that you may eat in a minute, candy canes bathe your mouth in sticky sugar for minutes on end.
- Potato Latkes – The pancakes themselves are not the problem, it’s what’s on the side. A common tradition is to dip potato latkes into table sugar, which turns a traditional holiday treat into something that’s damaging your teeth. When possible, eat them with applesauce instead.
- Caramel Popcorn – Sugar is once again the culprit in this holiday snack. But it doesn’t help that caramel popcorn is so addictive. It’s easy to munch on it absentmindedly for minutes on end which just exposes more sugar to your teeth for longer.
Holiday Treats to Indulge in
It wouldn’t be much fun to spend the entire holiday season avoiding treats, especially when everyone around you is enjoying them so much. Luckily, you can be merry and be merciful on your teeth at the same time. Here are some seasonal treats that you can indulge in without feeling guilty:
- Peppermint Beverages – Peppermint flavors are a staple of the season. Instead of eating candy canes, put a peppermint leaf in your water or hot tea and sweeten with low or sugar-free syrup.
- Gingerbread – The bold flavor of ginger means that gingerbread tends to have less sugar than other types of cookies and cakes.
- Chocolate – Chocolate is not great for your teeth, but since it dissolves quickly and promotes the production of saliva it’s better than the treats we mentioned above. Just try not to overindulge, and avoid chocolate that also has caramel and nuts.
Keep Your Teeth Happy this Holiday Season
One more thing to consider – during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season it’s easy to let normally diligent teeth cleaning habits go lax. But as you can tell, this is the time of the year when you need to commit to your oral health routine more than ever. Have as much fun as possible, just be sure to brush and floss it away regularly. Happy Holidays to you and yours from all of us here at The Happy Tooth.