5 Holiday Foods That Are Bad for Your Smile

November 20, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — nbkdental @ 2:11 pm
Close-up of a single candy cane on a white background

There are all kinds of tasty foods that are served during the holidays, but while you’re enjoying the season, you need to make sure that you aren’t putting your smile at unnecessary risk. Many of the foods associated with this time of year could end up damaging your teeth and gums if you’re not careful. To help you avoid dental issues during the holidays, your preventive dentist is here with a list of 5 foods that can cause problems for your grin.

1. Candy Canes

Candy canes are very high in sugar, meaning they can significantly increase your risk for cavities and gum disease. And since candy canes are meant to melt away slowly while you suck on them, they stay in your mouth for quite a while, thus prolonging the amount of time that the teeth and gums are exposed to sugar. It may be best to avoid candy canes altogether if you’re concerned about your oral health.

2. Sugar Cookies

Any sort of sugary treat could easily contribute to dental problems if you’re not careful. The sugar cookies that people often eat during the holidays are certainly no exception. Having a cookie every once in a while shouldn’t cause any serious issues, but if you overindulge, the repeated sugar exposure can ultimately lead to tooth decay.

3. Stuffing

Some threats to your smile are less obvious than others. Stuffing may seem like it shouldn’t cause any major problems for your mouth, but the fact of the matter is that it is high in starch. This is problematic because once starch is exposed to a specific enzyme in your saliva, it can be broken down into sugars that can eventually lead to cavities.

4. Cranberry Sauce

The cranberry sauce that’s often served with holiday meals can damage your teeth in multiple ways. Not only does it tend to contain a lot of sugar, but it also happens to be acidic, meaning it can wear down your enamel. And of course, dark-colored foods such as cranberry sauce can potentially stain your teeth if you’re not careful.

5. Chocolate

During the holidays, you may find yourself eating more chocolate than normal. Needless to say, the high sugar content of chocolate makes it less than ideal for your teeth. It is worth noting, though, that dark chocolate tends to be a safer option for your smile than light chocolate since it doesn’t contain as much sugar.

If you want to avoid a holiday dental emergency, you need to keep a close eye on what you eat. Remember that you can always ask your dentist for advice on maintaining a smile-friendly diet.

About the Author

Dr. James Woodruff has more than three decades of dental experience, and he has been named one of “America’s Best Dentists” by the National Consumer Advisory Board on multiple occasions. He’s fully dedicated to helping Northbrook families maintain beautiful, healthy smiles. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Woodruff at Northbrook Dental Group, visit his website or call (847) 272-0049.

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