When the holidays roll around, many people can’t help but want to dive into all the snacks, meals, and desserts that have become such a tradition of their celebrations. Since some of these types of food can damage one’s teeth, it’s important to have them in moderation or avoid them altogether if you have especially sensitive teeth or other dental hygiene issues.
The following are some typical foods that you should steer clear of during the holiday season (and at other times of the year). But no matter your dental needs, the team at Greenwood Dental can help you maintain a healthy smile into and throughout the new year.
Hard Candies and Chocolate
Hard candy is particularly brutal for our dental health. When you bite into something like a candy cane or other sweets on the hard side, this can potentially break a tooth. Not only that, the sugar in it sticks to your teeth and develops a substance that hardens and becomes plaque. This also is the case when it comes to chocolate, which contains sugar. As bacteria break down the sugar, it can make the enamel on your teeth dissolve and cause cavities. Cavities are one of the most dreaded oral health conditions since they can’t be healed. Instead, you’d need to have them filled in so that there is no further damage to your teeth.
Starches Harm Your Teeth
There’s a great deal of food containing starches that we eat during this season. This includes the following:
- Breakfast pastries
Though we eat these at different points in the year besides the holidays, people tend to pick them up more because they give themselves a free pass from dieting. Starchy things have particles that get in between your teeth and are difficult to remove. If left for long enough, this can lead to not only bad breath but also issues with getting your teeth as clean as you’d like.
Eggnog may not be a food, but it’s one of those staple items served at holiday gatherings. It has a high amount of sugar, so it can negatively affect your teeth, whether you have this drink independently or with alcohol. The added drawback of including alcohol is that it dries out your mouth, preventing saliva production, so the sugar residue remains in your mouth.
Fruit typically is one of the healthiest things you can eat. Then why is cranberry sauce considered bad for your teeth? It has corn syrup, which feeds bacteria that cause bad breath. It also tends to have a large amount of sugar, leading to tooth decay. You might want to try making fresh cranberry sauce so that you can control the amount of sugar and use a syrup that’s better for your teeth.
How a Reputable Dentistry Office Can Help You
At Greenwood Dental, we offer a wide range of preventative and corrective services for your dental health. This includes:
- Tooth-colored fillings
- Root canal treatments
- Teeth whitening
- Family dentistry
- Cosmetic dentistry
- Dental implants
- Porcelain dental veneers
- Smile Makeover
- Dental crowns
Sodas, also known as soft drinks, whether sugar-free or not, tend to contain acid. This makes sodas damaging to teeth and can lead to increased cavities and tooth erosion. If you must drink soft drinks, avoid brushing your teeth immediately afterward; acid softens your teeth’s structure, making them more vulnerable to abrasion. Examples of healthier drink options include the following:
- Green tea
It’s best to avoid soda altogether to help keep your teeth healthier. Drink unsweetened tea or water instead of sugary beverages.
If you occasionally want to indulge in dessert this holiday season, eat those that dissolve quickly in your mouth. Candy that remains in your mouth for a while, such as caramels, lollipops, hard candy makes it harder for saliva to wash away the sugar. Certain desserts with a high sugar content can cause tooth decay. A few of the main culprits include:
- Hard or Sticky Candy
If you can’t resist eating sweets during the holidays, try eating them after the main meal instead of between meals. Remember to brush your teeth after you eat anything sweet if possible.
Assistance with Dental Issues from the Trusted Professionals at Greenwood Dental
Even if you slip up and enjoy a few of these foods, it’s not the end of the world. An esteemed dentist or staff member at Greenwood Dental will assess any dental problems with a routine examination, then discuss a course of action. We’re proud to serve the greater Waukegan, Illinois area, improving oral health and giving our patients brighter smiles. You’re sure to be pleased with the results after you stop in for a routine cleaning or other types of service. Contact us at 855.528.3961 with your questions, and so you can set up an appointment.