16 Dec Avoid These 7 Christmas Treats to Prevent a Dental Emergency
The holiday season is usually a time for people to indulge in sweets and other foods. With Christmas dinners and holiday gatherings to enjoy, it’s important to make sure you’re not increasing your risk of developing tooth decay or other dental problems. To avoid having to see a dentist in Phoenix for a dental emergency, avoid eating these treats this holiday season.
Candy canes are one of the most common holiday treats enjoyed during Christmas. While you might hang some of these on your Christmas tree for decoration, you shouldn’t eat them. Candy canes have a lot of sugar and take a long time to eat, which makes it easier for bacteria to gather in your mouth and attack your teeth. This can lead to an increased risk of cavities. If candy canes are your holiday indulgence of choice, brush your teeth and floss more often on days you eat them.
Fruitcakes might seem like a healthy holiday treat, since they contain pieces of dried fruit. However, you’re not going to gain a lot of nutrients by eating these sweets. Instead, you’ll be eating a high amount of sugar, which attracts bacteria to the surfaces of your teeth. Bacteria produce acids that eat away at tooth enamel and cause tooth decay to develop. The cake part of fruitcakes is also unhealthy, since it leaves tiny, starchy bits of food on and between your teeth.
Some people put dishes of hard candies out during the holidays. While these might seem harmless, since they’re usually small, they can do a lot of damage to your teeth and even lead to a dental emergency. Hard candies have high amounts of sugar, which raises your risk of tooth decay. These candies might also cause damage to your teeth if you bite down on them. If you let them slowly dissolve in your mouth, you’re allowing a lot of sugar to cover your teeth and attract bacteria.
Soda is often served at holiday gatherings, but you should avoid drinking it. These carbonated beverages contain a lot of sugar, making them a bad choice for your teeth. Having soda often during the holidays could significantly increase your risk of ending up with tooth decay. If you already have decay, the sugar in soda could make it worse. If you’re going to drink soda, brush your teeth afterwards to remove the sugar from your teeth.
Egg Nog and Hot Cocoa
Egg nog and hot cocoa are traditional Christmas drinks, but they’re ones you shouldn’t drink too much of. These beverages also contain a high amount of sugar, which puts you at a higher risk of having cavities. Hot cocoa can be even worse for your teeth when you add marshmallows to it, since they’re sugary and sticky. Limit your consumption and brush your teeth immediately after you finish your drink.
Cookies, pies, cakes, and other baked goods contain high amounts of sugar, which isn’t good for your teeth. These kinds of sweets are also starchy, so they’re likely to stick to your teeth or get stuck between them, which can increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. If you decide not to completely avoid baked goods, make sure you brush and floss your teeth right away after having any.
Caramel is among the worst kinds of foods for your teeth. Whether you’re thinking of having caramel popcorn, caramel candy, or baked goods with caramel, look for something healthier instead. Caramel is highly sticky and coats the surfaces of your teeth with sugar, attracting large amounts of bacteria. Caramel isn’t the only sticky holiday food to avoid. You should also stay away from other sticky treats, such as peanut brittle.
Reach for Healthy Foods
What kinds of healthy foods should you snack on this holiday season to keep your teeth in good shape? Instead of reaching for candy canes or cookies, have some cheese, nuts, or vegetables. All of these foods are good for your teeth while also being nutritious overall. When you’re looking for something to drink, have a cup of tea or a glass of milk instead of egg nog or soda. Tea can help reduce bacteria in your mouth, while milk keeps your teeth strong and in good condition.
After a holiday filled with sweet treats, make sure you schedule your regular cleaning as soon as it’s due after the holiday season. And if you find yourself in a Christmas-treat mishap that causes a dental emergency, give us a call so we can help!