Holiday Treats & Your Teeth: Naughty Or Nice? [BLOG]
If you’re like most people, you’re just days away from sitting down for Christmas dinner or attending a few holiday parties where the buffet tables will be well-stocked and the drinks will be flowing.
Want to know which foods and drinks are naughty and which are nice for your teeth?
Then check out our lists, and check them twice, before heading out to your next gathering, courtesy of your friends at LakeCrest Dental in Claremore, OK!
The Naughty List of Holiday Treats
The holiday treats that make our naughty list may come as no surprise to you, but we’ll give a bit more insight as to why you should at least limit your consumption of them over the course of your special seasonal events.
*Chips & Crackers*
Not only do these pose a slight risk for dental damage or injury, due to tiny sharp edges that can harm your teeth and gums, but they’re also examples of sticky, starchy, refined carbs that break down into sugar when you eat them and are hard to wash away from the nooks and crannies of your mouth afterward.
*Soft Drinks & Alcohol*
Most soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are loaded with sugar and dark pigments. Even clear alcohols and diet sodas are bad for your teeth given their high acidity. Alcohol, in particular, in excess can lead to dehydration, which robs your teeth and gums of valuable saliva that protects them and fights harmful bacteria.
Although dinner rolls or holiday loaves will be plentiful, they’re not good for your smile.
They’re packed with sugar, which bacteria uses as fuel to generate enamel-eroding acids that break down your teeth. Breads and rolls also become sticky as you chew them, which will linger inside your mouth long after you’ve eaten them.
The Nice List Of Holiday Treats
Not all holiday foods, drinks, and other treats are naughty for your teeth.
Like most parties where food is being served, you’re likely going to have some healthier alternatives that will help strengthen your teeth, bones, and your smile overall.
We’ll start with standard appetizers.
Some popular staples you might see on the buffet table are fruit and veggie trays. Celery and carrot sticks, broccoli, and sliced cucumbers are all great for your teeth, not just because of their nutritional value, like vitamins A and C, but for their texture.
Naturally abrasive snacks like raw veggies help to gently scrub the surface of your teeth as you chew them, and their crunch will encourage saliva production, which also protects your teeth and gums.
The same is true for apples, which you might find on a fruit tray or assorted cheese platter. While you’re at it, look for hard cheeses, yogurt-based dips, and nuts to add to your plate for added bone-building nutrients like calcium and protein!
As for your main course, beware of starchy side dishes like casseroles, pasta salads, white potatoes, and corn, as these break down into sugar, which can cause tooth decay and cavities.
Also, if you want to satisfy your sweet tooth after dinner, you should stay away from hard, sticky candy and look for milk chocolate or dark chocolate instead. Anything that literally sticks to your teeth like caramel, marshmallows, toffee, or candy canes only give bad bacteria more to feed on, which spurs the production of harmful acids that attack your teeth.
Schedule An Appointment
After the holidays, be sure to visit us for a comprehensive dental checkup so we can make sure you’re ready to begin a new year with a healthy smile!
You can also talk to us about your cosmetic dentistry options if you’re interested in improving your smile and boosting your confidence in 2019!