Believe it or not, the holiday season is already here. Over the next few weeks, you’ll gather with friends and loved ones for tasty meals. You’ll be surrounded by a variety of foods. Although you know candy and other sweet treats are bad for your waistline, there’s another reason to watch what you eat. If you aren’t careful, holiday foods can leave a lasting mark on your smile. Your dentist near Flower Mound has the top 5 foods that can damage your teeth if you’re not careful.
No turkey dinner is complete without stuffing. Although it’s just bread and herbs, it can damage your smile. Stuffing is loaded with carbohydrates. When it comes in contact with your mouth, an enzyme turns the starches into sugars. When combined with your saliva, it creates an acidic plaque that can erode your enamel. Over time, it can even cause a cavity. It’s best to skip the stuffing, but if you can’t resist this holiday favorite, rinse your mouth with water when you’re finished eating.
2. Hard Candies
Hard candies, like candy canes, contain a lot of sugar, including high fructose corn syrup, which is a modified starch. As a result, they are bad for your teeth. Besides the risk of decay, chewing on hard candies increases the likeliness of a dental emergency, like a fractured tooth. You can keep your smile healthy and avoid a trip to the emergency dentist by skipping hard candies during the holidays. If you give in to your sweet tooth, be sure to brush your teeth well afterward.
3. Cakes and Pies
Sweet treats are a favorite for many people during the holidays, but they can harm your smile. Even homemade goodies contain a large amount of sugar, which can linger in your mouth and help harmful bacteria demineralize your enamel. If you eat a sweet, it’s best to brush your teeth right away. If you can’t get to your toothbrush, chew a piece of sugarless gum.
Eggnog is a holiday staple, but it has a very high sugar content. As an alternative, drink it in moderation or choose a healthier beverage, like a glass of water with a splash of fruit.
5. Dried Fruits
Dried fruits are chewy and sweet, which means they can cling to your teeth. It’s easy for the food particles to get trapped in the crevasses of your teeth and feed cavity-causing bacteria, so take extra care to clean your molars well if you snack on them.
Enjoy a Healthy Smile
You can start the new year with a healthy smile by watching what you eat during the holidays. If you have any questions about your diet, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist.
About Dr. Ryan Thomas
Dr. Thomas pursued advanced education in esthetic dentistry after earning his dental degree from the New York University School of Dentistry. He combines his training with the latest technological advancements to help his patients achieve optimal health. If you need an appointment before the new year, contact our office today.