Christmas is one of the most magical times of year, but it also brings sweets, sticky treats, and foods filled with sugar and fat. Foods that contain high levels of sugar can be harmful to your teeth and gums causing unwanted problems during the holidays. Dr. Suzanne Port reminds all of her patients to do their best to avoid the following types of foods.
Dr. Suzanne Port’s foods to avoid
Avoid Hard Candies Such as Candy Canes
The most popular candy around Christmas time is the candy cane. We love them for how long they last however, this is the problem. When you’re sucking on hard candy your teeth are being constantly bathed in sugar. The bacteria in your mouth are rejoicing in the fact that they now have food to help them produce acid to spit on your teeth and cause decay. Mint and Christmas go hand in hand so a good alternative might be a peppermint chocolate.
Avoid Sticky Foods Such as Caramel Corn
We always tell our patients that air popped popcorn is a great snack for kids. It doesn’t stick to the biting surface and it’s a good source of fiber all while being low in calories, this is a parent win! However, its evil twin caramel corn should be avoided at all costs. It’s essentially a liquid sugar and when allowed to harden it turns into a sticky mess for your teeth. This type of popcorn will make itself right at home in your tooth by sticking to it and not easily coming off. This will cause sugar to stay on the tooth for an extended period of time which could potentially lead to decay.
Avoid Sugary Holiday Beverages
In addition to the large amounts of sugary treats around you have to watch out for drinks too! Nearly everywhere around the holidays we’re tempted by egg nog, hot chocolate, and other classic staples during this time of year. It’s so important to do your best and avoid these drinks. They contain high levels of sugar and fat, so instead try to find some alternatives. These can be coffee, iced tea, milk, or best of all water!
How to avoid and replace those unhealthy foods
Avoiding these types of foods doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the season. If you find yourself overindulging on certain foods, try using some of the tips below.
- Have fresh fruit cut up and available. Every time you think to grab a sugary treat direct yourself towards the fruit. Cutting it up will make it easier to choose as the hard work is already done!
- Chew on some sugar free gum to help cut back on sugary cravings.
- Choose a time of day to eat or drink Christmas foods. Doing this will stop you from snacking and drinking all day and will give your teeth less exposure time to sugar.
- Make sure to have a toothbrush handy to keep your teeth extra clean!
Dr. Port and her staff at Port Pediatric Dentistry wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season!