Be Careful What You Eat This Holiday Season

Three Christmas candy canes in a red cup with holiday decorations in background

Wilson, Greenville, Goldsboro, Rocky Mount, Raleigh & nearby areas

Mon, 12/18/2017

The holiday season is here, and with it increased consumption of sweets and alcohol. While the holidays are an excuse to eat, drink, and be merry, you should be careful about what you eat and drink in order to avoid a post-holiday emergency trip to the dentist. We’re not saying to cut these foods and drinks entirely from your diet, but too much can cause oral health problems.

Here are some popular holiday foods and drinks that can be bad for your teeth. We know that completely avoiding these foods may be difficult, so make sure that you come in for an oral hygiene checkup after all the holiday festivities are over.

Sugary Drinks and Alcohol

Eggnog is the worst offender in this category, as it contains alcohol and sugar, both of which can cause tooth decay. Everyone knows that sugar is bad for the teeth, but did you know that alcohol can also contribute to tooth decay? This is because alcohol causes the mouth to dry out, which in turn promotes bacterial growth.

Hot chocolate is another popular drink over the holidays, often with marshmallows or whipped cream on top. It can be a comforting and delicious drink, but try not to have too many – all that sugar may leave you with cavities come January.

Candy Canes

Candy canes are basically pure sugar. On top of that, they take forever to eat – meaning that the sugar stays on your teeth for a long time. If you must eat a candy cane this season, take breaks to sip water. The water helps to wash away the sugar from your teeth, lessening the risk of developing cavities.

Candy canes may also cause damage to the teeth if you bite on them. Biting on hard candy can cause teeth to chip or crack, and can damage dental work such as porcelain veneers and crowns as well.

Other hard candies have the same problem as candy canes, and are best either avoided completely or eaten in very small quantities.

Caramel Popcorn

Caramel is one of the worst foods for your teeth. In addition to being sugary, it is sticky and gets easily lodged on your teeth, providing a delicious snack for harmful bacteria. Anytime you eat caramel popcorn (or any other sticky candy, like toffee or peanut brittle), try to rinse your mouth with water and floss as soon as you can afterwards in order to limit the damage done.

If you have braces, you should avoid all types of sticky candies no matter the season, as they can be impossible to clean out of the brackets.

Schedule Your Post-Holiday Dental Appointment

Make sure you come see us after the holidays for a cleaning and checkup, especially if you’ve indulged a little too much in sugary sweets and drinks. Call Boles, Ham, Dixon, and Boles at 252-291-2892 to schedule your appointment today. We can check for cavities, repair any damaged dental work, and help you plan a good oral health regimen for 2018.

We serve patients in Wilson, Greenville, Goldsboro, Rocky Mount, Raleigh, and nearby areas of North Carolina.

Dixon Boles & Associates