No matter where you live or what kind of family traditions you have, it’s safe to assume that the holidays will in some way include plenty of foods. Did you know that lots of those typical holiday indulgences could actually damage your teeth?
The Drink Menu
Although most restaurants routinely provide water at each setting to start, many of us go right for something a little more festive when it comes to liquids. Some of the most popular holiday drink choices are full of sugars and/or acids. Eggnog for example, can have around 20 grams of sugar, which is a main food source for the bacteria living in your mouth. Throw some rum in there and you’ve created quite an acid bath that most people will spend quite a bit of time sipping on. The change in pH puts your teeth in a soft state for 20-30 minutes. Hot chocolates and warm ciders can also have the same effect. Soda and energy drinks, although tasty, can damage the enamel if not rinsed away quickly.
The bite sized holiday treats can really cause a problem if you aren’t careful. Nuts, Pretzels, and other crunchy foods are known for breaking fillings. The key here is to be mindful of your own current dental state and past dental history to figure out which foods you should generally stay away from.
The Main Course
This is what we all patiently wait for. Days of planning and preparing finally culminate into the big meal of the day. The problem is that most main courses involve lots of carbohydrates. When carbs break down into sugar and mix with mouth bacteria, lactic acid is created. It’s this acid that erodes enamel. We also get lots of calls after the holidays for broken teeth. Some of the most common tooth-breaking foods are crispy breads, turkey and ham bones, and olive pits.
The Dessert Cart
Last but certainly not least on our list of favorite foods that could damage your teeth is dessert. Generally, that tasty treat will involve more sugar than you need. Tarts and pies, ice creams, fruit, and candy will definitely go down easy but are not great for your teeth.
Although we aren’t suggesting you avoid your family get together in fear of destroying your teeth, we hope that you keep your teeth as plaque free as possible by brushing and flossing as recommended. Before you head out to that holiday party or family gathering, get your mouth really clean and remember to drink lots of water throughout the event!
Happy Holidays from Daxon Dentistry!