Food is one of the best parts of the holidays. From turkey to cookies and everything in between, it’s a great time for indulging. But if you’re not careful, some of your favorite holiday foods could be damaging your teeth. Our Morrisville dentist at Pearly Whites Dental Care explains which holiday goods can hurt your smile and how you can minimize the damage by maintaining excellent oral health habits.
It’s no secret that sugar isn’t great for your teeth. Eating too much of it can cause tooth decay and cavities. During the holidays, sugary treats tend to be everywhere – especially during the winter months. From fudge to holiday cookies, you may find yourself needing a little extra willpower to resist these sweet temptations. Luckily, it’s fine to enjoy these treats in moderation. Just remember to brush and floss thoroughly afterwards, to help remove any lingering sugar particles.
Not only are some of your favorite holiday sweets loaded with sugar, but they can also be quite sticky. Anything that’s sticky has a tendency to cling to teeth more easily than other foods – meaning it can do more damage. Be especially aware of peanut brittle, taffy, and caramel. These sticky sweets can get stuck in the crevices between your teeth for extended periods of time and lead to more serious dental problems.
The holidays are full of citrus-flavored goodies like eggnog, fruitcakes, and cranberry sauces. While these are all delicious, they also contain a high amount of acidity. Acidic foods can weaken tooth enamel and cause it to erode over time. If you do indulge in these citrus goodies, make sure to drink plenty of water before and afterwards, as this helps with neutralizing the acids in your mouth.
Candy canes, popcorn garlands, and other hard treats are all great for decorating your tree, but they can be damaging to your teeth. Hard foods like these put extra strain on the enamel of your teeth when you chew them. This makes it easier for a crack or chip in the enamel to form, leaving you vulnerable to tooth decay. Be very careful if you’ve had any fillings or crowns in the past, as these hard foods can cause them to break.
It’s no surprise that eating sugary, acidic, and hard foods can put your teeth at risk of decay. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to minimize the damage from holiday indulgences. Make sure to brush and floss your teeth twice a day, especially after consuming lots of sugar or other acidic foods. It’s also important to visit your dentist regularly, so that any problems can be identified and treated.
By keeping these food and drinks in mind, along with following excellent oral health habits, you can help protect your teeth from potential damage this holiday season. If you have any questions about how to maintain your dental health during the holidays, contact our Morrisville dentist at Pearly Whites Dental Care today. Our experienced team is here to ensure that your teeth stay healthy and strong – now, and all year round.