When the holiday season rolls around, all kinds of delicious yet not-so-great-for-you treats, meals, and desserts abound. You may give yourself a free pass from sticking to your diet at this time of year. It also has become such a tradition to share goodies with loved ones, whether you’re at a Christmas dinner or an office party. However, it’s important that you don’t forget the fact that many of these foods and beverages can do a number on your oral health.
Be Careful with Sticky Foods
Of course, candy and pastries go on this list. But did you realize that dried fruit can be harmful to your teeth as well? This is because they’re sticky and this type of food tends to stay on your teeth longer. If you end up eating dried fruits and other sticky foods, make sure that you rinse your mouth with water and brush shortly after eating.
Hard Candies Are Troublesome
Some types of candy are worse for your teeth than others. Hard candy like wrapped mints, candy canes, and caramel drops are not only full of sugar, they also can break or chip your teeth. This also can happen when you eat nuts so it’s in your best interest to be careful when you eat them and have these treats in moderation.
Sugary Holiday Drinks
Egg nog isn’t the healthiest choice although this is a treat for many people at this time of year. It’s got a great deal of sugar and if you mix alcohol with it, this can have the added effect of tooth decay or drying out your mouth. You won’t produce as much saliva, and this means food particles will remain on your teeth for longer which leads to a greater likelihood of plaque and cavities.
Watch Out for Starchy Foods
When you have foods with a lot of starch such as cookies, cakes, and chips, you can have trouble. The particles can get trapped between your teeth. For this reason, you should brush more often, especially right after you have your snack. Also, you might consider flossing so you have an extra defense against plaque buildup.
What Are You Able to Eat?
It’s not necessary to avoid eating all of these foods. The key is to be mindful and have them in moderation. If you opt to fill your plate with different choices and bring healthier snacks to parties, there are many options from which you can choose. Your big holiday dinners might consist of skinless poultry, fish, lean beef, and other lean protein. Whole grains are good choices as well as yogurt, fruits, vegetables, and cheese for your pre-meal spread.
If you decide to indulge in some of your favorite sweets, remember that it’s ideal to have them with or right after you eat dinner. This way, there’s more saliva production and this will flush away those particles.
No matter what you decide to eat and drink during the holidays, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Gainesville to keep up with regular cleanings, and catch dental problems like cavities early.