As the holidays approach, you will be gathered with friends and family to share warm meals together. While food is often the center of holiday get-togethers, you need to keep your oral health in mind when dining. As your Medina dentist, we do not want to see the holidays ruined by poor food choices. We have a list of the top foods you should avoid during the holidays to protect your smile.
Cavity-Causing Candy and Sweets
Nothing brings in the holiday spirit quite like candy canes, cookies, and other yummy goodies. While the candy and sweets are very tempting, it is best to avoid sugary sweets during the holidays. Foods that contain high amounts of sugar can lead to cavities. The sugars combine with saliva and bacteria in the mouth, causing the sugar to turn to acid. The acid then eats away at your enamel, leading to tooth decay. If you need a sweet treat, consider some fruit to prevent cavities.
When snacking and eating during the holidays, you will be surrounded by a number of drink selections. It is easy to grab a soda, drink a warm cup of coffee, or sip on some egg nog, but by doing so, you could damage your smile. Sugary drinks like soda and egg nog can lead to cavities just like candy and sweets. Coffee and other dark beverages, like red wine, can lead to tooth discoloration as they tend to stain the teeth. It is best to always choose water whenever possible to protect your smile.
Hard Candy and Foods
Hard candy, corn on the cob, and even ice are commonly found on the dinner table during the holidays, but you may want to avoid them. Eating overly hard foods can lead to a loose filling, cracked tooth, or a chipped tooth. You do not want a dental emergency to ruin the holiday festivities. Stick with softer, easier to chew foods and treats to prevent damage to the teeth.
Sticky and Starchy Foods
Sticky and starchy foods can also cause cavities because they are difficult to remove from the crevasses of the teeth, like the back molars. You will want to avoid chewy candy, popcorn, and even potato chips, which all tend to get stuck in the teeth. Instead, snack on some fresh vegetables or cheese, which will also help to clean the teeth.
There are several foods found during the holidays that can cause tooth discoloration, such as balsamic vinegar, pasta sauce, and even berry juices and pies. Foods and drinks that are acidic or dark pigmented tend to cause staining of the teeth. If you cannot avoid stain-causing foods, be sure to rinse the mouth with water and promptly brush your teeth to help prevent staining.
Protect Your Smile During the Holidays
It is not uncommon to overindulge in foods you would not typically eat. However, you need to be mindful of your oral health. As your Medina family dentist, we encourage you to try to make some simple food and drink alternatives this holiday season to protect your smile.