10 Holiday Foods Dentists Discourage
Everyone seems to have a love-hate relationship with holiday foods. We love to indulge in them but hate the consequences that follow. Some of them we even love to hate (we’re talking about you, fruitcake). We’re all aware of what these sugary, mouthwatering foods are doing to our figures, but what about the effects they have on our teeth? Here are 10 foods that made your dentist’s naughty list this year.
When you think about foods that are bad for your teeth, your mind immediately goes to sugary foods. Stuffing isn’t particularly high in sugar content, but it is high in carbohydrates that break down to sugar and acid when stuck between your teeth. Oral bacteria love this stuff!
You may be tempted to suck on a candy cane after your lunch break, but you’re better off popping a regular mint in your mouth instead. Not only are these holiday staples high in sugar, but they are also notorious for chipping teeth.
On their own, cranberries can actually help fight oral diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis. However, it’s the cranberry sauces that dentists such as Washington Periodontics recommend avoiding. The popular canned sauce is high in corn syrup and sugars that stick to your teeth. If you’re a fan of cranberries, then stick with low-sugar cranberry juice.
Eggnog is one of those things that you either love or you don’t. If you fall into the “love” category, then you may want to pay attention. The high sugar content and dairy proteins quickly turn to bad breath and bacteria in your mouth. This holiday beverage is oftentimes mixed with alcohol, which can cause a dry mouth. Moderation is key with this thick drink!
Hot chocolate is a go-to favorite around these chilly months—especially when topped with a dollop of whipped cream and mini marshmallows. Unfortunately, much like eggnog, hot chocolate is also rich in sugars that love to coat your teeth.
Peanut brittle seems to come out of hiding to make a special guest appearance during the holiday season. This sweet and salty treat gives dentists nightmares of fractured teeth and dislodged crowns.
If you fall into the 5% of people who enjoy fruitcake, then sorry to break the news, but it made the dentist naughty list. Fruit cake is just as sticky as it is sweet, and is known to dislodge crowns from teeth.
Along with peanut brittle and fruitcake, popcorn balls have the same unfortunate reputation of causing sticky mishaps. Not only this, but the popcorn kernels are prone to finding a new home lodged in the crevices of your teeth.
If you’re on the hunt for stocking-stuffer candy, then avoid the sticky and sour candies as much as possible this year. Sticky candy simply provides an adhesive for the sugar to stay on your teeth, and sour candies contain high acid content that eats away at your tooth enamel. Dark chocolate is a good alternative.
Red wine is a favorite holiday beverage for many, but it contains high acidity that can harm your teeth. If you plan on indulging in a few (or several) glasses this season, then be sure to rinse your mouth frequently with water. Wait at least 30 minutes after consumption to brush your teeth in order to avoid scrubbing the acid into them.
Sorry to be the deliverer of bad news, but sometimes the things we love the most can cause us the most pain—especially when that pain stems from a toothache or dislodged crown. We’re not saying you need to cut all these foods and drinks from your diet completely, but rather to be smart about it. If you must, then partake in moderation, and take special care to clean your teeth thoroughly afterward.