“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” We can all appreciate the joy of the holiday season, including the indulgent treats we’ve all come to love. However, these traditional sugary desserts and holiday snacks can also wreak havoc on our teeth. Luckily, there are many ways to strike a healthy balance between your favorite sweets and more tooth-friendly alternatives.
At Lowry Main Street Dental, we’re happy to help our patients enjoy their favorite festive foods while minimizing the risk of developing cavities. Keep reading as we go over some of the best and worst holiday foods for dental health.
Why Are Holiday Treats Often Bad for Your Teeth?
One of the best ways to avoid cavities and other oral health issues is to limit your sugar intake. A high-sugar diet is one of the most common causes of tooth decay because the naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth require sugar to survive. When the bacteria consume sugar from your diet, it is converted into acid, which eats away at your tooth enamel and ultimately leads to cavities.
Holiday treats are often bad for your teeth because they tend to be packed with sugar, and many people find themselves snacking on these foods all day long during the holidays. Essentially, the more sugar you eat, the more acid the bacteria in your mouth can produce, putting you at a much higher risk of tooth decay.
Best Holiday Food Options for Healthy Teeth
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your holiday. Like most things in life, moderation is key. Additionally, there are many other tasty, seasonal treats that are also teeth-friendly.
Gingerbread is a classic holiday favorite that tends to have less sugar than other desserts, such as cookies, pies, and other baked goods. For a fun and kid-friendly treat, try baking and decorating your own gingerbread cookies. You’ll still satisfy your sweet cravings, but you can control the amount of sugar in the recipe.
Dark chocolates are another example of teeth-friendly holiday foods. Many studies suggest that dark chocolate can be good for your overall health and even benefit your teeth. These benefits are likely due to dark chocolate being rich in polyphenols and antioxidants, which can help prevent gum disease and tooth decay. So, if you enjoy the taste, consider swapping out the milk chocolate in your favorite recipes for dark chocolate this holiday season.
Keeping Your Teeth Healthy During the Holidays
There’s no harm in enjoying sweet seasonal treats from time to time, but keeping them at a minimum and focusing on more tooth-friendly recipes is wise to ensure you don’t suffer the consequences of your favorite foods once the holidays are over!
At Lowry Main Street Dental, we’re committed to educating our patients about everything dental-related, including the best foods to keep your teeth healthy and strong. If you’re searching for a new dentist, contact us today to schedule an appointment.