Maintaining good oral health in Arlington during the holidays doesn’t have to be an impossible task. Although tables are filled with delectable treats that are hard to resist, the good news is that you don’t have to avoid them altogether. Instead, this article will explain how you can enjoy your favorites but in moderation. Read on to discover three foods you should enjoy in small amounts to avoid a sudden trip to the emergency dentist’s office.
What Makes Holiday Foods Dangerous For Teeth?
Everyone loves holiday foods. From flavorful turkey and ham to sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pecan pie, these dishes are to be enjoyed this time of year. However, what you may not realize is that many of them contain high amounts of sugar and starch – two components that oral bacteria love. When consumed in large quantities, it increases your risk for tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.
If good oral hygiene habits are not practiced throughout the holidays, there is a good chance that problems can (and will) form inside the mouth, resulting in the need for emergency and restorative care.
Which Foods Should Be Eaten in Moderation?
While we will only list these three, there are other foods that you’ll need to be mindful of this holiday season. When reaching across the table or asking someone to pass the following dishes, make sure to remember the word “moderation:”
- Cranberry Sauce: Cranberries are healthy, right? While this statement isn’t entirely false, it depends on how they’re cooked. When doused in sugar to create that sweet flavor, they can wreak havoc on your teeth. Also, many canned cranberry sauces contact corn syrup, which is equally as bad. Remember to only add a small scoop to your plate or simply enjoy a glass of sugar-free cranberry juice!
- Stuffing: Stuffing may not contain a lot of sugar, but it does have a lot of starchy foods in it. Filled with bread, stuffing can be just as detrimental to your smile as cranberry sauce or pie. As you chew on the bread, it will break down into sugar and result in cavities forming should it remain within your teeth for an extended period.
- Red Wine: Although this is a beverage, not a food, many people enjoy it during the holidays. Unfortunately, red wine is often full of sugar and/or highly acidic. As a result, it can easily break down your tooth enamel, causing cavities to form. Also, because it contains tannins, it is more likely to stain your teeth.
Candy canes, gravy, eggnog, cookies, pies, cakes, milk chocolate, dried fruit, and caramel popcorn are other foods and beverages that should be consumed in small amounts. Keeping this in mind will help to better protect your smile and allow you to spend more time with family instead of at the emergency dentist’s office.
About the Author
If you’re looking to take back your oral health, Dr. Douglas Baldwin and the team at Foundation Dental Solutions can help. Offering preventive services designed to detect problems early on and help patients better maintain healthy teeth and gums, Dr. Baldwin can deliver the results you need to feel good about your smile. Contact us at (817) 478-4300 to learn how we can better assist in your oral healthcare journey by providing helpful tips to protect your teeth during the holidays.