During the holidays, most people are more concerned about what the food is going to do to their weight rather than their oral health. However, it’s extremely important to pay attention to oral health during the holidays as well, as it can play a huge role in your overall health.
There are a lot of foods that you should be weary of this holiday season.
Sugar: As the number one culprit in causing cavities, sugar is everywhere during the holidays. Whether you are eating candy canes or your grandmother’s famous pumpkin pie, be aware of how much you consume. If you do happen to indulge in a lot of sugary foods, try to do so at mealtimes when increased saliva can wash the sugar off your teeth. Always remember to brush and floss after enjoying your holiday treats!
Starches: Popular traditions during holiday meals include breads, potatoes and anything full of starch. While these starchy foods may not seem as harmful as sugars, the refined flour in white bread and the starch in potatoes are essentially sugars and will ultimately affect your teeth the same way. If possible, cut back on the mashed potatoes, rolls and other starch-ridden goodies.
Alcohol: Because of the acidity in alcohol, it can wear away at tooth enamel and can make teeth vulnerable to cavities. It’s also been known to cause discoloration as well. If you do consume alcohol, make sure to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water in between so you can keep your teeth protected from erosion and future decay.
Black Coffee: Crisp fall/winter mornings are hardly bearable without a nice cup of coffee, but unfortunately, it is one of the most potent drinks that can stain your teeth. Remember that your teeth can be professionally whitened to help remove all of the external stain you have accumulated over the years!
On the bright side, there are plenty of foods that are good for your teeth. In general, most fruits, veggies and proteins do not harm the gums or teeth. You don’t have to avoid everything this holiday in order to keep your teeth happy, just be aware of what you are eating and follow a proper oral health care regimen and you should be in great shape!