You’re a mean one, candy cane.
After waiting a whole year, the holiday season is back again. All the Whos in Whoville are sipping hot cocoa with the family, roasting marshmallows by the fireplace, and eating way too many Christmas cookies. And like every year, the temptation to indulge in sweet treats is almost impossible to resist. But since you don’t want to have cavities that are two sizes too big (or, any cavities at all), we have compiled a list of some of the holiday treats you should avoid this Christmas.
Sweet Treats To Avoid This Holiday Season
These stocking stuffers are an icon of the holidays. But even though candy cane season is only once a year, it’s best to avoid them completely. Why, you ask?
They are pure sugar.
And as we’ve learned before, sugar is the leading cause of tooth decay. Candy canes are especially destructive, since they take so long to eat and sit on your teeth for longer than you think. So when you’re thinking of adding a little candy cane to your hot chocolate or latte, consider substituting it with a peppermint leaf. Your pearly white smile will thank you.
Sugar Cookies & Fruit Cakes
They aren’t so good for your waistline, either. During the winter season, there is no shortage of holiday cookies, cakes, and all kinds of chocolate (peppermint bark, anyone?). But unfortunately, all of these sweet treats are full of sugar that will weaken your teeth.
Sugar cookies. Pumpkin pie. Fruitcake. Skip it all – Weight Watchers will agree with us on this one.
So go ahead and leave them by the tree for Santa and his reindeer. Sugar cookies and other sweet bakery treats are best to avoid.
While Popcornopolis is a great idea when it comes to easy gifts for your friends and coworkers, those little treats are not so great for your teeth.
Caramel popcorn, in particular, has a very special talent for getting stuck in the most difficult to reach areas of your mouth. When those sweet treats get stuck in your teeth, they can stay there for a while and wreak havoc on the nearest tooth. Our advice is to throw the sticky, saccharine mess in the fireplace along with the bag of coal you received Christmas morning.
So what’s a better alternative? Enjoying plain or lightly buttered popcorn is your best bet. There is still the risk of popcorn pieces getting stuck in your teeth, but as long as you brush and floss immediately, it is less likely to cause that kind of damage to your teeth.
We know that Starbucks will try to entice you with their “buy one get one” specials on holiday drinks, but be aware that these drinks are not good for your pearly whites. Partially because any coffee beverage will stain your teeth. But also because a 16oz cup of the peppermint white chocolate mocha has… wait for it. 72 GRAMS OF SUGAR. Gasp!
While that may be okay for a character in a Dr. Seuss book, a normal human adult should not have that much sugar on their teeth (or even in their bodies). So unless you plan on getting some sparkly dental fillings to match the tinsel, you might want to pass on the gingerbread latte and candy cane coolers. Also on the naughty list are fruit cocktails, wine, sodas and other carbonated beverages.
If you must enjoy a peppermint-y hot beverage this winter, check out this sugar-free recipe and make it at home.
Say it ain’t so!
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Grandma’s Famous Eggnog is just not good for your teeth. As festive as it is, eggnog is filled with sugar and heavy cream – in fact, that’s pretty much all that the recipe calls for. In addition to whole milk and your choice of liquor.
While eggnog may be a Christmas tradition, it’s harmful to your teeth in two ways. The excessive amount of sugar that is used to make it sticks to your teeth, even hours after you’ve finished it. This results in the slow destruction of your enamel.
Even worse? If your recipe includes alcohol – whether its rum, brandy, or bourbon – it may cause dry mouth later on. And when your mouth does not have enough saliva, it becomes vulnerable to bacteria that cause decay and bad breath.
Long story short: Avoid eggnog.
Well, now we’re really feeling the holiday spirit! When it all comes down to it, if you want to enjoy these holiday treats it is important to do so in moderation. It’s been a long year since last winter (you know, when the Grinch stole Christmas) so you deserve to enjoy it.
The team at New Generation Dentistry works to make sure that you love your smile. So this holiday season, all we ask is that you take care of your teeth while you enjoy time with your loved ones. From our family here at New Generation Dentistry, Happy Holidays!