The holiday season is officially in full swing! Many people are looking forward to all the gift-giving, quality time spent with loved ones, and (of course) countless opportunities to indulge in delicious seasonal meals and treats. Although your taste buds may be satisfied during this time of the year, you could be putting your oral health at risk if you’re not careful. That said, here are a few holiday foods you should enjoy in moderation this season to protect your smile.
For some people, a Thanksgiving feast is not complete without stuffing. It’s a holiday favorite that makes an appearance every year on this special day! Even though it’s not particularly high in sugar, it’s still pretty bad for your teeth. The traditional dish is composed primarily of carbohydrates, making it an extremely starchy food. It promotes the accumulation and growth of bacteria that feed on the sugars that the starches are broken down into. That process results in the secretion of harmful acids that attack the enamel on your teeth, leading to plaque buildup and an increased risk of cavities.
Everyone knows that sugar can have detrimental effects on your pearly whites. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that candy canes are not a great choice for your oral health. They’re composed primarily of sucrose (a common table sugar) and high fructose corn syrup (a modified starch). Every time you eat something sweet, cavity-causing bacteria feed on the particles and produce an acid that attacks the enamel, leaving your teeth at risk of cavities, decay, and gum disease. Luckily, you don’t have to give up on these holiday treats completely! You can still enjoy them, just make sure it’s in moderation.
If you have ever tried eggnog, you know from experience that it’s an acquired taste. Some people like it while others don’t! However, because it’s high in sugar and contains alcohol, it’s not the healthiest choice for your pearly whites. The good news is indulging in it occasionally won’t wreak havoc on your oral health. Still, you should try and opt for something sugar-free like gin and tonic instead to keep your smile safe.
Fresh fruits are a tasty and nutritional choice for your overall health. Conversely, dried fruit can be quite damaging to your teeth and gums. It sticks easily to the surface of your teeth, providing nourishment for the cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. To lower your risk of oral health problems, it’s a good idea to reach for fresh fruit whenever possible.
Even though sugary baked goods aren’t the best choice for your oral health, you’re still bound to run into your fair share of them in the coming months. You may come across plenty of cookies, pies, and cakes at your upcoming holiday parties and events. It might seem impossible to avoid these treats during this time of the year, but you should try your best to consume them in moderation. Otherwise, you can increase your risk of several oral health problems (i.e., cavities, decay, gum disease).
Are you ready for the holiday season? By watching your consumption of the holiday foods listed above, you can ensure your smile remains happy and healthy these coming months!
About the Practice
At Dentistry Redefined, we strive to treat every patient that walks through our door like a member of our very own family. Our highly skilled and dedicated team is passionate about educating patients to help them make confident and informed decisions about their oral health. For more ways to keep your smile healthy, visit our website or call (201) 683-3531.