Food often brings families together, especially during the holidays. But as you fill your belly this season, don’t forget about protecting your teeth. Those delicious holiday foods can end up causing a lot more trouble than you think! Keep reading to find out which foods should only be enjoyed in moderation.
Butterscotch and peppermint candies are popular this time of year. Whether you find bits of them in cookies or choose to suck on them after meals, they can end up damaging your teeth. The sugar from these candies feeds the cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth, making your teeth susceptible to developing tooth decay. Sugar-free candy is a great alternative that can satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping your sugar intake low.
Peanut brittle, toffee bars and cookies are everywhere you look this season. They may be delicious, but these sticky treats can easily get stuck between your teeth, feeding cavity-causing bacteria and preventing your saliva from neutralizing that area. This can result in the development of tooth decay. Try to keep your servings to one or two cookies at most.
This bread-based side is a staple on most dinner tables during the holidays. But it can be one of the worst side dishes for your teeth. As soon as it passes your lips, your saliva begins to break it down, turning it into a sticky substance that can sit on your teeth for long periods of time. It becomes a delicious meal for tooth-damaging bacteria in your mouth, giving it the energy to produce enamel-destroying acid, causing your teeth to become extra sensitive to sweets, temperature and textures. It also increases your risk of cavities. The less you eat of this side, the better!
Fresh cranberries can actually help protect your teeth from cavities, but cranberry sauce, which contains a large amount of sugar, is a favorite of the harmful bacteria that sits on your teeth and increases your risk of enamel erosion. If you must have cranberries on your dinner table this season, fresh cranberries are the way to go.
It can be easy to relax a bit more during the holidays, but if you’ve got a few sugary foods on your menu this year and want to avoid toothaches, it’s important to drink plenty of water (it helps wash away some of the sugar), and make sure you’re still brushing twice a day and flossing at least once.
About the Author
The dentists at Aesthetic Family Dentistry work together to provide patients of all ages with high-quality, comprehensive dental care. Drs. Dean Hutto, Steve Ragsdale and Abby Williams offer preventive dental care, emergency dentistry and many other services to help everyone who sits in their dental chairs achieve and maintain the beautiful smile they deserve. If your holiday eating habits tend to leave a lot of sugar on your teeth, contact them at (281) 422-8248, or visit the website to schedule your teeth cleaning.