Holiday Foods that are Scrooge for your Teeth

When it comes to holiday celebrations, it’s pretty much all about the food.

The roast beef. The turkey. The ham. The fruit cake. The candy canes. The peanut clusters. The egg nog (spiked with alcohol or not). The petit fours. The gingerbread houses. The pumpkin or apple pie. The four-layer double chocolate cake.

And while these foods are delicious, and while they should definitely be enjoyed, some of them definitely can be Scrooge when it comes to your teeth. Scrooge as in something that can ruin a holiday with one misplaced bite.

Read below for four of the worst holiday foods for your teeth.

Egg nog. Oh, it’s delicious! Oh, it’s thick and creamy! Oh, it has a lot of sugar! And that ton of sugar is a poor choice for your teeth. If you love egg nog, make sure it’s a real treat – as in you drink it only for very special occasions, and then you indulge sparingly. Better yet, consider making it yourself and cut back on the sugar – and don’t add alcohol.

Candy canes. Whether you’re one to suck on them until they disappear, or to chomp quickly, the sugar content in these delicious treats is astounding. What’s more, small bits easily become lodged between your teeth. Breaking or chipping a tooth when biting into one isn’t unheard of, either.

Soda and other carbonated beverages. If you drink sodas with sugar, you’re allowing 40 grams of sugar to enter your mouth (with a 12-ounce drink). That may not sound like much, but 40 grams of sugar is the equivalent of 10 – ten! – packets of sugar. Would you swallow 10 packets of sugar in one sitting? Probably not. But you drink that amount each time you swallow a sugary soda. Even if you drink only diet sodas, the phosphoric acid in them can erode the enamel from your teeth. Either way you drink it, sodas are really, really, really bad for your teeth.

Chocolate. Most of us prefer the lighter-colored milk chocolate. But these candies almost always contain a lot of sugar and we all know how sugar can cause cavities. If you really want to indulge – and truly, who could blame you? – opt for dark chocolate because dark chocolate has more cocoa and less sugar in it. It won’t be as sweet, but it will be better for you.

If you or a family member indulged too much in the sweet or crunchy stuff this holiday season and you believe you’ve developed a cavity – or if you chipped a tooth – contact Plano dentist Dr. Darren Dickson by phone to schedule an appointment. You also can e-mail the office at [email protected]

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