One of the most enjoyable parts of the holiday season is all the delicious food that you get to enjoy. But as tempting as it might be to just indulge to your heart’s content, you should be careful; many well-known holiday foods can put your oral health at risk if you’re not careful. Below is a list of foods you should watch out for if you want to keep your smile safe throughout the festivities.
Plenty of people enjoy a large helping of stuffing to go along with their turkey during the big Thanksgiving meal. However, what you may not realize is that stuffing is a very starchy food. When you eat starches, they are broken down into sugars, which harmful bacteria can feed on and excrete as acid that wears down your enamel. In other words, eating too much stuffing could lead to tooth decay, so try to limit how much you put on your plate.
2. Candy Canes
It’s no secret that sugar-filled sweets are bad for your teeth, but candy canes can be particularly harmful. Since they remain in your mouth for a very long time, oral bacteria have plenty of chances to feed on the sugary particles they leave behind, leading to plaque buildup and decay. Having a candy cane every once in a while won’t lead to any dental disasters, but you should be very careful about only eating them in moderation.
Eggnog is high in sugar, so there shouldn’t be any surprise that it’s less than ideal for your dental health. And if you take your eggnog mixed with alcohol, then the consequences can be even worse. Alcohol is acidic, meaning it can significantly weaken your enamel; it can also dry out your mouth, leaving less saliva to get rid of cavity-causing bacteria. If you do decide to have a glass of eggnog, drink some water immediately afterward to wash away the leftover particles.
4. Dried Fruit
Compared to fresh fruit, dried fruit tends to be very sticky and high in sugar. They often cling to your teeth and gums, attracting the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Protect your smile by sticking to fresh fruit as much as possible throughout the holidays.
5. Sugary Baked Goods
From pumpkin pie to gingerbread cookies, there are plenty of examples of baked treats that are served around the holidays. Needless to say, if you’re concerned about your oral health, you don’t want to overindulge in anything that contains a lot of sugar. Make an effort to only eat sugary baked goods in moderation; the best time to enjoy them is during or right after a meal, which is when your mouth is naturally producing more cleansing saliva.
It’s important to be mindful of which holiday foods put your teeth at risk. That way, you can create a plan that will let you protect your oral health while still fully enjoying the season!
About the Practice
At Kraft & Schrott Dental Associates in Boston, our specialists combine their expertise to bring patients of all ages high-quality dentistry. We offer a comprehensive menu of preventive and restorative services; our goal is to help you identify and treat small dental issues before they turn into emergencies. If you have concerns about your dental health during the holiday season, you can schedule a consultation with our team; reach out to us by visiting our website or calling (617) 227-4924.