Many people look forward to the holidays as the time of year when they can indulge in special treats. But what are the long-term effects of your favorite holiday meal? From super-sweet pecan pie to rich gravies, many holiday foods are both delicious and, unfortunately, bad for your teeth.
Is it possible to avoid bad foods for teeth during the holidays? Thankfully, most foods are acceptable in moderation. And for those treats that should be avoided, there’s usually a delicious (and healthy) alternative to try.
Keep reading for more information about foods bad for teeth and how you can protect your smile this holiday season.
Preventative Care and Lifestyle Changes
When it comes to maintaining good oral health, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Dental health emergencies can be expensive to treat, and tooth problems are sometimes painful or scary. That’s why it’s important to take your oral health into your own hands and make lifestyle choices that will keep your teeth healthy.
Diet has a huge impact on the health of your teeth and gums. Making small adjustments to what you eat can help protect your teeth and keep your smile bright. By thinking about what you eat during the holidays, you’re already taking an important step towards protecting your oral health.
Bad Foods For Teeth
Most people know that sweet treats like candy and ice cream can cause cavities and other tooth problems. But are there other bad foods for teeth?
In terms of holiday treats, an unexpected danger comes from gravy, which is high in oil and fat and can increase plaque buildup on your teeth. Eggnog has the same effect, but coats your teeth with added sugars, too.
Pies, jams, and seasonal treats like cranberry sauce are all foods bad for teeth. This is because of their high sugar content. Alcoholic drinks and seasonal cocktails are usually high in sugar, too.
Candy canes and other hard candies are particularly worrisome because of their tendency to stick on and in between the teeth. Biting too hard into a hard candy might also cause a tooth to crack.
Avoid Foods Bad For Teeth
To avoid foods that are bad for your teeth but to still get the most out of your holiday meals, you can find healthier alternatives to unhealthy treats. If it’s candies and pies that you’re craving, try sugar free options or adjust your recipe to use less sugar. Try a sugar-free eggnog or replace your mixed drink with an alcohol that’s not as sweet.
If you’re snacking on nuts, make sure to put your holiday nutcracker to use. Don’t use your teeth to break open nuts.
If you enjoy savory meals, consider incorporating more turkey and cheeses into your diet. The calcium in cheese and the nutrients in turkey are great for building bone health, and they won’t invite cavities in the way that sugar does.
Enjoy the Holidays and Protect Your Smile
Preventative care is just as important for your teeth as curative treatment. Making small adjustments to your diet today can help you maintain great oral health for a lifetime. Bad foods for teeth like gravy, hard candy, and cocktails are fine in moderation, especially when paired with a comprehensive oral care routine.
If you find yourself overindulging in foods bad for teeth, consider trying some of the alternative foods listed above. And if you find yourself with a dental problem (or want to learn more about how to take care of your oral health) contact us today. At Pueblo West Neighborhood Dental and Implants, we’re passionate about helping you maintain your oral health for life.