The holiday season is full of delightful sweets and sugary treats. Family and social gatherings almost always include a cookie platter, cakes, candies, and other sugary sweets to indulge in. The good news is we are not about to tell you to completely avoid these seasonal sensations to maintain healthy teeth. With proper oral hygiene care, you can indulge in your sweet tooth and still have a beautiful smile.
We all strive to have healthy teeth and healthy gums. However, the lure of sweet treats, delicious holiday cocktails and decadent desserts during the holiday season can overwhelm our otherwise sensible choices. Even if you are diligent about brushing and flossing, many foods will make caring for your teeth an uphill battle.
We want to help you protect your teeth this holiday season, so when you find yourself at a social gathering, reach for one of these teeth-friendly treats.
Peppermint Flavored Beverages
Peppermint flavors are a staple of the season. Instead of eating candy canes, try peppermint tea. Treats such as peppermint patties covered in chocolate make a great holiday treat because they are consumed quickly and do not linger on your teeth.
The bold flavor of ginger means that gingerbread tends to have less sugar than other types of holiday cookies and cakes. Reaching for a gingerbread man cookie over a snowman sugar cookie can be a simple swap to help you control how much sugar is going into your mouth.
A study published in the American Academy of General Dentistry found that eating cheese raises the pH levels in your mouth, lowering the risk of tooth decay. Cheese also contains calcium and protein, both found in foods that strengthen teeth. Break out the holiday cheese balls or set up a simple, yet stunning cheese platter for guests if you are entertaining.
Almonds are one of the best snacks you can quickly grab for many reasons. Not only are they a great source of calcium and protein, but they are also low in sugar. While you may not initially associate almonds with the holiday season, it’s the perfect time of year to make a homemade roasted nut mix. Try these roasted rosemary almonds that are not loaded with sugar, yet add a fresh new twist on the lovable snack.
Chocolate is a great sweet to grab for because it dissolves quickly in your mouth. The less time sugar stays in contact with your teeth, the better when it comes to sweets and snacks. Chocolate also has calcium as one of its main ingredients which is known to help produce saliva in your mouth and wash away sugars. When it comes to chocolate, plain is best and the darker, the better.
Foods To Avoid
To help protect your teeth, these holiday foods are best avoided altogether. If something on this list is your absolute favorite and you cannot resist the temptation, then stick to small portions and always remember to brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste directly after consuming.
Full of sugar, eggnog is one of the worst things you can drink during the holidays. If your drink also has alcohol in it, it can dry out your mouth and prohibit the production of saliva. Not only does that mean the sugar from the eggnog will reside in your mouth longer, but the decreased saliva in your mouth will struggle with washing it away.
These holiday staples are loaded with sugar, and also take a long time to eat. Unlike a cookie that you may eat in a minute or two, candy canes bathe your teeth in sticky sugar for minutes on end while you are eating it, and long after you have finished.
Holiday Sugar Cookies
Sugar cookies are one of the most common treats around the holiday season. Eating too many of these will only accelerate and encourage tooth decay.
The first major issue with caramel popcorn is that sugar is one of the main ingredients in this holiday snack. The second is that caramel popcorn is so addictive that it is easy to absentmindedly consume it for minutes on end, exposing your teeth to even more sugar.
Don’t Skip Professional Cleanings
It’s easy to “forget” about things like getting your teeth cleaned during the holiday season. However, this time of year is when your teeth need the most attention. Professional cleanings help to remove stubborn plaque that leads to cavities. Schedule your holiday cleaning with Premier Dental Center today.