The holiday season is right around the corner! As the tastiest time of year, that means an abundance of sweet, fatty, and carb-heavy foods will soon be heading your way. If you aren’t careful, this can mean bad news for your oral health. To help you make it through the season with all your teeth where they belong, here are five holiday foods and drinks to avoid or eat in moderation.
#1: Dried Fruit
This tacky, sweet treat can easily stick to the surfaces of your teeth and is difficult to wash away. Because of this, it provides the perfect food source for the oral bacteria that can cause tooth decay. Eat fresh fruits and veggies like apples, carrots, and celery sticks instead. Not only will these not stick to your teeth, but they’ll also increase saliva production, which helps wash away food particles and decrease your chances of developing cavities.
#2: Baked Goods
Baked goods are full of both sugar and carbs, which makes them a double whammy when it comes to your oral health. They allow harmful oral bacteria to run rampant and wreak havoc on your teeth. Avoid baked goods completely or eat them in moderation to lessen the harm they can do to your oral health.
Eggnog contains a ton of sugar, and some variants also contain alcohol. Alcoholic beverages dry out your mouth and allow oral bacteria to flourish. If you plan on enjoying an alcoholic beverage with your holiday dinner, opt for something sugar-free like a gin and tonic, and follow it up with a big glass of water.
Since stuffing is made primarily of carbohydrates, it’s surprisingly bad for your teeth. When we eat carbs, they are converted into sugar, which is then fed on by bacteria. The starchiness of bread also promotes the growth of bacteria, so it can do a lot of damage to your pearly whites. Switch it out with a tooth-healthy alternative like roasted broccoli.
Hard candies like candy canes and butterscotch are essentially just sugar. They also contain high fructose corn syrup, which pulls minerals from the teeth and makes them more susceptible to decay. Eat softer, sugar-free candies like peanut butter cups or peppermint patties instead.
Though it may prove difficult to abstain from these holiday foods and drinks, doing so will allow you to avoid a dental emergency. Cut back on the gingerbread cookies and increase your water intake to enjoy the holiday season to the fullest!
About the Author
Dr. Gus Bal graduated from Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine in 1994. As the “Best Dentist in Scarborough” for four consecutive years according to the Readers Choice Awards, he goes above and beyond to make his patients feel comfortable during their visits. He specializes in smiles of all ages and aims to help you maintain a bright, beautiful, and brag-worthy smile! If you’re interested in scheduling an appointment with Bal Dental Centre or want more information about how to maintain good oral health this holiday season, visit their website or call (416) 267-6789.