For most people, the holidays consist of creating special memories with family and friends, shopping for gifts, and eating lots of the season’s favorite foods!
Holiday enthusiasts buy the best ingredients from grocery stores to make their favorite Christmas dishes. And with all of the excitement in the air during these festive times, many people pay little attention to the effects the food they consume will have on their teeth. Below are 8 delicious holiday foods that are so delicious, but can also be bad for your dental health.
Popcorn – Popcorn is a favorite holiday food of the season. Some brands drench their popcorn products in caramel, creating a satisfying, sweet, and crunchy treat. But be careful with these bad boys, as the popcorn kernels can get stuck in between your teeth, and are often difficult to remove. As a result, they can lead to bacterial growth and other complications.
Quick Tip: Rinse your mouth after eating popcorn and immediately floss your teeth. This way you mouth can remain clean and free from developing further oral difficulties.
Sticky Foods – Sticky foods require your jaw and tongue to work harder because they have to remove the contents from your teeth – and some can even be hard to reach! Failure to remove the sticky particles in your mouth can lead to a buildup of bacteria. Dentists always suggest brushing and flossing your teeth when consuming sticky foods in order to avoid further oral problems. Also, the high sugar content in many sticky foods such as toffee, dried fruit, or caramel can lead to cavities in the future.
Carbonated Sugary Drinks – It’s no secret that the consumption of carbonated drinks has increased dramatically. According to Kick the Can, obesity due to drinking soda is being consumed more now than the past 30 years. The sugar within these drinks can linger in your mouth, forming acids that can hurt the teeth and lead to tooth decay.
Quick Tip: Substitute sugary sodas with water or water-infused fruit juices. Water is perfect for keeping the body and teeth looking healthy.
White Bread – The carbohydrates found in white bread turn into sugar once your saliva breaks them down. These simple sugars create large amounts of acid that break down the tooth enamel of the teeth. Bread can also stick to your teeth, causing your jaw to work harder to remove food particles.
Tomato Products (Ketchup, Hot Sauce, Pasta Sauce) – The acidity level of tomato products can soften the enamel of your teeth, resulting in increased tooth sensitivity. This process can also lead to tooth decay. Tooth enamel is also prone to stains due to the dark color of tomato sauces.
Quick Tip: When you add pasta sauce into one of your holiday dishes, add water to the sauce in order to decrease the acidity levels.
Alcohol and Wine- Alcohol or wine are always the first drink choices that are grabbed by holiday partygoers. But keep in mind that both of these beverages can cause many issues to your oral health. One example of the negative effects that both of these substances can have is that they cause your mouth to become dry. A dry mouth is a bacteria playing ground, this also leads to bad breath and tooth decay.
Quick Tip: A good tip is to drink a cup of water after you drink alcohol or wine, this way your mouth is hydrated and moist.
Apples – Did you know that apples are considered the biggest culprit for chipping teeth? Apples are amazingly great for your health because it is high in fiber and can help remove stains from your teeth. The bad part is that apples are high in acidity and can cause tooth sensitivity. Apples are also easy to get stuck in between the teeth, making your jaw have to work harder. If your jaw works harder it can lead to temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ).
Quick Tip: Try cutting your apple into small pieces for easy consumption. Not only does making the apples smaller promote easier chewing, it also limits the apple skin from getting stuck in between your teeth.
Eggnog – This is an all-time, classic, holiday drink. Unfortunately, eggnog contains a large amount of fat and sugar that do your teeth damage. The sugar that lingers around your mouth after eggnog consumption can lead to cavity formation on the crown of your tooth.
Quick Tips: Rinse your mouth with warm water or alcohol-free mouthwash to remove the excess sugars from your mouth.
Candy Canes – You will see candy canes everywhere during the holiday season. According to Colgate, candy canes are 100% sugar! Not only is that not good for your health, it isn’t great for your teeth either. The sugars in this candy can lead to tooth decay.
Heavily Pigmented Foods – Some high pigmented foods can be very healthy, like beats or curry. The negative effect of these high pigmented foods is that they can stain your teeth. Remember to immediately rinse your mouth with warm water or a mouthwash after you consume these foods during your holiday feast.
Foods That You Can Eat – Grab healthier food this holiday season. Check out a list of healthy holiday snacks are healthy for your teeth on Mouth Healthy. Remember to have good dental hygiene techniques this season!
From Dr. Paul L. Caputo and staff, have a happy holiday!
Paul L. Caputo, DDS3490 E Lake Rd S Suite A