The holiday season is a favorite for many, and it isn’t hard to imagine why. There’s quality time with friends and family, celebrating fun traditions, and arguably some of the best food of the year! While all holiday foods might be yummy, some of them are more harmful to your teeth than others.
Keep reading for some of the worst holiday foods for your oral health.
Holiday Foods to Eat in Moderation
We aren’t expecting you to skip your favorite holiday treats—but keep these in mind while you’re munching! Consume them in moderation, and consider brushing your teeth, flossing, or even just chewing some sugar-free gum shortly after mealtimes.
Candy canes are a great treat around the holidays—for decorating with or for stirring in your hot chocolate! But they’re essentially pure sugar, which isn’t the best thing for your teeth and gums. It’s best to eat these in moderation, and avoid chewing them if you can! Sucking on them will produce saliva which can help wash harmful bacteria away, while chewing them could lead to getting a chunk stuck in your teeth.
Eggnog packs a double punch when it comes to oral health: sugar and alcohol. Try to drink it in moderation (for your teeth and your tummy!) and at least drink some water afterward! The worst thing for your oral health is letting sugar sit in your mouth. Cavity-causing bacteria feeds on it, creating harmful acid that targets your enamel.
Since it isn’t exactly a sweet treat, this one might surprise you! But the truth is, those cavity-causing bacteria that love sugar so much? They love starches, too! The best thing you can do for your teeth around the holidays is to brush and floss often, and to consume these harmful holiday foods in moderation.
Another one that may surprise you, dried fruit can do a lot of oral health damage. Because of its chewy texture, dried fruit is much more likely to get stuck in your teeth than regular, fresh fruit. When that happens, bacteria can have a holiday feast of their own! Use a toothpick or flosser to remove chunks of dried fruit from your teeth, and brush as soon as you can.
Keep Your Smile Bright This Holiday Season
There are so many holiday foods for you to enjoy—and you should enjoy them! Just be sure not to forget about your oral health while you’re doing it. A little more mindfulness, paired with a little extra oral hygiene TLC, will help you avoid cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and more. With the end of the year fast approaching, have you had your second checkup of the year yet? It’s not too late to get those pearly whites shining! Get in touch with LeCroy Dental today and schedule your appointment so you can start 2023 off with healthy, sparkling teeth.