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How Can I Enjoy Holiday Foods without Harming My Teeth?

December 4, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — billpoedds @ 8:17 pm
little boy and girl with candy canes

The holiday season can be an exciting time of year, as you catch up with family and friends you don’t see very often and find out how their lives have changed. Then there are the delicious holiday foods that go along with those gatherings. Well, excuse your teeth if they don’t share your enthusiasm.

It’s just that there are a lot of sugary food items for them to deal with, in addition to other pitfalls. Keep ready to get some tips from your dentist in Los Alamitos about how you can enjoy holiday foods without compromising your oral health.  

Be Cautious with That Candy Cane

If you’ve read blog posts about being careful with Halloween candy, this tip will come as no surprise. Hard candies like peppermints and candy canes can crack your teeth if you bite too hard into them. If you can’t pass on the canes this year, then try to limit your intake and brush your teeth after eating any candy.

When in Doubt, Lean Toward Water

Holiday parties will offer plenty of soda and wine, but neither one is good for your teeth. Fizzy water is a better option than soda, but if you go the soda route then try to use a straw to keep most of the acid off your teeth, and remember that dark cola can stain enamel. When drinking wine, consider that red wine is a major culprit for tooth stains. White wine is less of a staining risk, but a threat nonetheless so be sure to brush afterward.

Have Seconds of Turkey and Veggies? Don’t Mind If I Do

Not all food at the holiday party is a threat to your oral health. Passing on cookies and opting for veggies is a huge win for your teeth. Broccoli and carrots specifically have a lot of vitamin A to strengthen your enamel. Turkey is another holiday food that’s great for you. It’s loaded with phosphorus and protein, which can both help keep your teeth healthy.

The Nutcracker Is a Ballet, Not an Activity for Your Teeth

Hopefully, you’ve been abiding by this rule for a long time now, but don’t crack nuts with your teeth. The hard surface of most nutshells can cause severe tooth and gum damage. They can literally crack teeth. Also, don’t use your teeth to open plastic toy wrapping or other holiday packaging.

With a Toothbrush, You’re Always Prepared

This time of year often means traveling and if that is the case for you, don’t leave concern for your oral hygiene at home. Be sure to bring your toothbrush, floss, and mouthwash with you. You can also get a dental travel kit at a pharmacy if you need to save space.

Many people get very busy during December with holiday festivities. Others go into full vacation mode. Each one of these poses problems for your oral health, as your toothcare regimen can be more likely to stray off course. Do the best you can to stay diligent about oral health even if you are easing up on regular duties elsewhere. A visit to your dentist after the holidays for a professional cleaning is a great call.

About the Author

Dr. William Poe earned his dental doctorate from USC and has been working hard for his patients for more than three decades now. Dr. Poe has participated in advanced cosmetic education courses at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute. Less than two percent of all dentists have achieved the level of education that LVI has to offer. He understands how challenging it can be to make smart choices with holiday foods, but your teeth will be thankful you made the effort. After the holidays wrap up, Dr. Poe can help you start the New Year strong with a dental cleaning and exam. You can make an appointment by visiting his website or calling (562) 594-5067.

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