It’s that magical time of the year — the holiday season! With celebrations in full swing, we indulge in a feast of delicious foods. But, don’t forget about your teeth during this festive season.
Did you know that some of our favorite seasonal foods can impact our pearly whites? Harmful bacteria in our mouths thrive on sugar, found in many holiday staples, which promotes plaque buildup and cavities. Exposing teeth to sticky, gooey or chewy foods for a long period of time also can lead to tooth decay. In addition, acids from certain foods can weaken tooth enamel.
Here are three popular holiday foods and drinks that can put your oral health at risk.
- Candy canes. Although candy canes are a traditional symbol of Christmas, they are a sugar-loaded treat. As you suck on this hard candy, sugar continually coats your teeth, leading to dental problems.
- Baked goods. This time of year, cookies, pies and cakes are the centerpieces of dessert tables. These treats are high in both starch and sugar content, feeding the cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. Enjoy sweets without wreaking havoc on your smile. Moderation is the key.
- Alcoholic beverages. Consuming alcohol dehydrates your mouth, increasing your risk of cavity development. Cocktails tend to be high in sugar, and red wine stains teeth. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout your festivities.
Safeguard your smile this holiday season. Opt for smile-friendly options, such as cheese, vegetable trays and meat. Cheese is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin K, both of which are great for tooth enamel. Vegetables, such as carrots and celery, help clean teeth and freshen your breath. Meats are high in protein, which helps keep you feeling full longer, and prevents you from excessive snacking.
Create wonderful memories with your family and friends on Christmas and New Year’s without worrying about your teeth. Maintain good oral hygiene care to keep your smile merry and bright, and ensure it stays in tiptop shape all season long.
– Dr. Scott Merritt founded BridgeMill Dentistry in 2002. The office is located on Sixes Road between Ridge and Bells Ferry roads.