No matter what theories you’ve heard floated on the matter, perhaps The Grinch was so mean simply because he wasn’t getting the opportunity to eat holiday food. After all, it’s pretty darn tasty! As you probably know, however, tasty can also mean trouble for your tooth enamel if you aren’t careful. For the sake of your oral health, you need to be especially diligent about brushing and flossing this time of year. Keep reading as your dentist in Springfield reminds you of some delicious holiday foods that can begin to steal your tooth enamel if you don’t watch out!
Sugary Baked Goods
As Captain Obvious might say, sugary cookies and similar baked goods are bad for your teeth. There will be a boatload of opportunities for you to eat such things during the holidays, so do your best to exercise moderation, which is also beneficial from a waistline standpoint.
Dried fruit sticks to the surfaces of your teeth as easily as gummy candy, which feeds the bacteria that cause cavities. Fresh fruit is better for your oral health, so exercise caution when the fruitcake is nearby.
Perhaps an acquired taste that many people love, be sure not to count your teeth as fans of eggnog due to the high sugar content. Not that alcohol is great for your teeth, but eggnog is the primary concern when they are mixed. If you want to enjoy a relaxing drink that’s less stressful on your enamel, consider a sugar-free gin and tonic.
Also known as dressing when it isn’t stuffed inside of a turkey, this delicious dish that may appear at Thanksgiving or Christmas is surprisingly bad for your teeth. Stuffing is primarily composed of carbohydrates. So, just like sugary foods, starchy fare promotes the growth of anaerobic bacteria which feed on the sugars that starches are broken down into. The bacteria secrete acid as they metabolize the sugars, so stuffing is no picnic for your enamel.
For all intents and purposes, these are sticks of sugar with a convenient handle for transport. It’s not breaking news they “cane’t” be good for your teeth, so enjoy them in moderation. Speaking of breaking, hard candy is dangerous on multiple fronts. If you suck on it, your teeth are exposed to it for a long time. If you bite it, you risk cracking your teeth, and then it gets stuck in them after you chew it.
That was quite a bit of getting Negative Nancy about these holiday foods, but at least the caveat that they are “delicious” was included. It’s up to you to pick your spots here and there to enjoy them for the sake of your teeth, plus it’s a smart move to brush your teeth after any sugary treats. Your dentist in Springfield can help make sure your teeth look great, but they are counting on you to take care of them day-to-day.
About the Author
Dr. Scott Olson earned his dental doctorate at the University of Florida, but his desire to learn continues. He continues to advance his education at renowned institutions like the Kois Center, the Dawson Academy, and the Engle Institute. Building relationships with his patients is a highlight of the job for Dr. Olson. He will be happy to discuss smart choices for your smile when it comes to holiday foods during your next checkup and cleaning. Schedule one on his website or call (417) 823-4900.