4 Holiday Foods to Avoid For a Healthier Smile in the New Year

December 6, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — drmcdougal @ 9:32 pm

The holidays are a time when families get together, enjoy each other’s company, play games, reminisce, and of course, eat delicious foods. What table wouldn’t be complete without gingerbread, eggnog, fruit cake, or classic stuffing? While these may be once-a-year treats, they can wreak havoc on your smile if you’re not careful. A dentist in Richardson explains why you might want to pass on these four holiday foods if you want your smile to shine this coming new year.

4 Foods to Avoid/Limit This Holiday Season

It may seem impossible to say “no” to certain holiday foods. After all, candy canes only come around once each year, right? While it’s best to avoid the following treats altogether, you should be mindful of how well you’re taking care of your smile should you instead choose to simply limit your consumption.

  • Candy Canes: Coming in all shapes and sizes, candy canes are the essential holiday treat. They look pretty hanging on a tree and are great gifts to hand out to both children and adults, but they consist of nothing but processed sugar. As a result, they will cause bacteria to eat away at your tooth enamel and cause cavities. They can also break or chip a tooth if you try to take a bite.
  • Eggnog: There is usually never an in-between when it comes to eggnog. You either love or hate it. Filled with sugar and alcohol, the drink may be enjoyable to consume, but it can leave your teeth vulnerable to harmful acids that will break down your enamel. Not to mention, alcohol can be just as detrimental to your teeth if frequently consumed. Instead, opt for a sugar-free beverage that is just as tasty.
  • Stuffing: When serving turkey for your holiday dinner, you cannot overlook the stuffing, or can you? Filled with nothing but starch, it offers no valuable protein, which means it’s a prime target for bacteria to take over. If you cannot bypass your mother’s popular dish, eat only a small amount and be sure to brush your teeth after consuming.
  • Sugary Baked Goods: Where there is a food table, there is also one filled with desserts. Cookies, pies, cakes, and other baked goods are often the most tempting yet, harmful to your teeth. Eat these in moderation and try to incorporate them into your main meal.

Ways to Protect Your Smile During the Holidays

It might seem futile to try and take proper care of your smile during the holidays, but you can take a proactive approach before ever arriving at grandma’s house. Keep these tips in mind to ensure your smile doesn’t suffer the consequences of this year’s holiday foods:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes, floss at least once a day before bed, and rinse with an ADA-approved mouthwash
  • Drink plenty of water to help flush out food particles and keep salivary glands working
  • Limit your intake of sugar and starch and instead, choose fresh fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, lean proteins, and calcium-enriched foods

These tips can set you up for success when visiting friends and family. Make sure you’re taking the right approach to food this holiday season and prepare to look your best come New Year’s Eve.

About the Practice
At McDougal and Richards Dentistry, our team of expert dentists and staff want to help every patient who walks through our doors achieve happier, healthier smiles. By offering tips and tricks to avoiding tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease, we can better prepare you for the upcoming holidays. If you want to make sure your teeth and gums do not suffer the effects of your family’s delicious dishes, contact us at (972) 231-5376.

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