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 North Bethesda 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 break 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 North Bethesda 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. Yelena Obholz earned her dental doctorate from New York University. During a residency in Brooklyn, she gained advanced experience in periodontics, oral surgery, and prosthodontics. Since then, she has taken specialty training through the Las Vegas Institute, Chao Pinhole Academy, and the CEREC Pace Program for advanced cosmetic restorations. Dr. Obholz will be happy to talk more about smart choices for holiday foods at your next checkup and cleaning. Schedule one on her website or call (301) 658-7647.