Christmas is a thrilling and exciting time of year, but it also means lots of sugar and fat in holiday treats. This can bring trouble to our teeth and gums. Avoid these common Christmas foods to keep your teeth in optimal condition.
While popcorn can be a healthy snack, turning it into caramel popcorn makes it public enemy number one. Caramel is liquefied sugar that hardens into a sticky mess. This caramel will stick to your teeth and lead to tooth decay.
Bacteria love to feed on this residue and produce acids that wear away your tooth enamel. Avoid all sticky foods if possible. If you must indulge, be sure to brush your teeth immediately to clean the residue off the teeth.
Candy canes and other hard candy seem to last forever. This is why they are a favorite at Christmastime. Sucking on hard candy for a long time is like giving our teeth a bath in sugar. The bacteria have a field day while producing acids to cause cavities. Even if you replaced the hard candy with chocolate pieces, you would be making a better choice.
Not only is Christmas the time to enjoy sugary foods, but there is also a variety of sugary drinks that get consumed. Things like hot chocolate, eggnog and hot buttered rum can be tempting and hard to resist. Avoid these beverages because they are high in fat and sugar content. Instead, choose options such as water, milk or tea to wash down your delicious food.
If you find that you must indulge in these treats, follow these tips to help keep you on track:
· Eat a balanced meal and control portion sizes.
· Chew sugar-free gum after the meal or anytime you need to resist temptation.
· Instead of indulging all day long, set aside a time when you will splurge on a few treats. This will keep your attention focused on enjoying the meal and giving you the permission to say no later.
· Brush your teeth throughout the day. This will help to keep them healthy and clean. It will also remind you to take a break from treats.
If you have further questions about good Christmas oral care habits, be sure to reach out to your Walnut Creek cosmetic dentist for an appointment.