The holidays are careening toward you at the speed of radio jingles and YouTube ads. So, it’s time to break out the turkeys and the tinsel once again. It’s no secret that some of the foods you may indulge in aren’t the best for your oral health, but how do you weed out the worst offenders?
Luckily, that’s where this guide comes in. If you want to learn about four foods that may turn your ho, ho, ho’s into ow, ow, ow’s, continue reading.
1. Sugar Cookies
You’ve seen them at the store. They’re everywhere. You may even bake these at home every year! These soft cookies with or without the generous portion of icing are enemy number one for your oral health.
Plaque is the sticky film that builds up on your teeth as you eat. What does plaque eat? Sugar, starch, and everything else you put in your mouth. So, sugar cookies are made of the stuff that will help bacterial plaque eat away at your teeth faster. If you walk by them at the store, just say no.
Alcoholic or non-alcoholic, eggnog has enough sugar in it to set your teeth on edge. It can cause cavities just like cookies can, and if you add alcohol to the mix, it’s even worse. Alcohol is known to dry out your mouth and stop saliva production.
Without saliva, your teeth and gums are far more vulnerable to bacteria. So, the combination of sugar and alcohol makes a dangerous combination.
3. Dried Fruit
Haters of fruit cake rejoice! You have one more reason to build your rage and refuse to indulge again. Dried fruit sounds healthy and does have fiber and several vitamins and minerals your body needs.
However, the drying process takes away all the water in the fruit, leaving concentrated sugar behind. Worse yet, it can stick to your teeth for hours, letting plaque bacteria build up and eat away at your enamel.
4. Candy Canes
Say it ain’t so! Not the candy canes! Unfortunately, yes. Candy canes are hardened sugar that you can suck on for a long time. While delicious, this little crook can give you cavities and present a tooth-chipping hazard at the same time.
This list only scratches the surface of the holiday foods that could send you to the dentist. However, it should give you a pretty clear picture of what you should be looking out for during the binging season. Before you get started, it might be a good idea to head to your dentist for a checkup. Don’t wait, start the season right by protecting your smile!
About the Author
Dr. Terri Alani, author of “The Million Dollar Smile: Changing Lives with Cosmetic Dentistry” is a passionate dentist with over 30 years of experience. After graduating from the University of Texas Houston with her Doctor of Dental Surgery, she went on to become a local celebrity, using her talents to talk about teeth on the radio and TV. To schedule an appointment at Terri Alani, DDS, call (713) 621-5141 or visit the website to delve into the other services she offers.