Which Popular Holiday Foods Can Harm My Teeth?

November 10, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drweldon @ 11:11 pm
Gingerbread man

The holiday season is the special time of year when friends and family gather together to celebrate their good fortune and hope for the future. Across the world, this means parties, feasts, and banquets that include many traditional favorites. While these are certainly joyous occasions, tooth decay and gum disease do not take holidays. Here are a few foods to enjoy in moderation to prevent future dental emergencies.

Don’t Let Your Holiday Baking Be Cavity-Making

In many households, the holiday season involves a marathon of baking. The products are often traditional favorites like sugar cookies, gingerbread men, fudge, cupcakes, and chocolate pastries of all sorts. Unfortunately, snacking on these treats regularly can provide the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease with the fuel they need to infect your smile and excrete acid that destroys your teeth. Enjoy the cookies, cakes, and chocolates in moderation to keep your oral health in good shape during the holidays.

Don’t Get Hooked on Candy Canes

Candy canes are popular candies during the holidays. While these can be festive and refreshing treats, they are basically sticks of peppermint-flavored sugar. Since they are traditionally eaten by dissolving in the mouth, they can coat your entire mouth with a sugary residue that feeds harmful bacteria. Chewing on them isn’t a better solution, as this can get them stuck in the pits of the molars or even cause small chips or cracks to form in the teeth. Enjoy candy canes sparingly.

Stuffing is Super Starchy

When turkeys are cooked for a holiday feast, they often come with stuffing. This hearty, crowd-pleasing dish isn’t known for being sweet, so people don’t really think of it as being bad for your teeth. Unfortunately, stuffing is full of starch that breaks down into the same simple sugars that feed harmful bacteria. Enjoy this savory side dish along with plenty of veggies.

The holidays call for people to enjoy a few treats, but nobody wants to deal with cavities or gingivitis. Be sure to enjoy these holiday favorites in moderation while drinking plenty of water and practicing excellent oral hygiene.

About the Author

Dr. Daniel Weldon earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine from the University of Florida College of Dentistry in 2008 and has continued his studies through the world-renowned Spear Education. He serves as a member of the American Dental Association, the Florida Dental Association, and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. His office in Ocala, FL offers preventive, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. For more information on keeping your teeth healthy during the holiday season, contact his office online or dial (352) 622-3236.

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