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Toothy Treats for Holiday Feasts

Posted on December 16, 2013 | in Dental Holiday Health | by

Healthy Holiday Eats

We all know that too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing, especially when we’re non-stop noshing on those tasty confectionery treats of the Holiday season.

Is it the weather (in certain locales), is it human nature, or is it simply just a good time of year to get together with family, friends, and the ones we love to relax our dietary diligence and indulge in some less than healthy treats?

If we manage to adhere – at least most of the time – to the “everything in moderation” axiom…especially moderation…we can all take comfort in the fact that we can treat our taste buds to the too easy to ignore treats while at the same time preventing the cavity creeps and Gingerbread Man (or Woman) from launching a total tooth takeover during the Holiday season.

Toothy Treats For Healthy Holiday Teeth

Eat Smarter For Healthier Teeth This Holiday Season

We still should enjoy all of these tasty toothy treats during our Holiday feasts, but maybe just remember to slosh with some water or maybe cut the cookie intake off at a few dozen…just to prevent the aforementioned cavity creep entrenchment.

Take a look at this less than healthy eats list of Holiday treats, courtesy of the “Good Health Starts Here” blog by Delta Dental.

5 common treats to limit during the holidays:

Candy Canes: The problem with eating candy canes is the prolonged period of time that they linger in your mouth. Not to mention, the temptation to chomp on them, which can lead to cracks or chips in your teeth. Consume them in moderation to limit their negative oral health impact.

Christmas Cookies: It’s tempting to overindulge when there’s an abundance of baked goods. Cookies are laden with sugar and can do significant damage to your pearly whites. We know that skipping cookies entirely may be a challenge. Just enjoy them in moderation.

Holiday Drinks (such as eggnog, apple cider and hot chocolate): Festive beverages offer more than warm, holiday cheer. Eggnog boasts over 20 grams of sugar per cup, while hot cider can pack over 65 grams of sugar when dolled up with caramel sauce and whipped cream. Stick to one small serving of your favorite drink, and wash away some of the sticky sugar residue with a glass of water.

Caramels: Chewy, sticky treats, such as grandma’s famous homemade caramels are particularly damaging, because they are high in sugar and spend a prolonged amount of time stuck to teeth. The same attributes apply to all of those sparkly gumdrops on your gingerbread house.

Fruitcake: Even though it’s the butt of many holiday jokes, some people actually eat the fruitcake that gets passed around at holiday parties. Oral health reasons to avoid it include the sugary cake base and the chewy, candied fruit throughout.

Cookies, candy and sweet holiday beverages all have at least one main ingredient in common: sugar.
Why is sugar so bad for your teeth – and a breeding ground for the cavity creeps?
Sugar mixes with bacteria in the sticky plaque that constantly forms on our teeth to produce acid that attacks tooth enamel. The stickiness of that plaque holds harmful acids against the teeth, which contributes to tooth decay.

We can do our oral health (and overall health) some service during this Holiday season of overindulgence by taking it easy on the sugary treats and maintaining the health of our teeth while still enjoying every confectionery concoction this special season has to offer…in moderation that is.

Having said all that, what is your favorite Holiday treat – good or bad for our teeth?

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+Chris Barnard is Managing Editor of DentalPatientNews.com, a patient-centric Social Dental Network blog dedicated to enabling the digital dental health conversation - and the eradication of the cavity creeps.
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