It’s the most wonderful time of the year for sweet treats! The holiday season is full of sugary candy, festive cookies, and delicious eggnog. But with all of these tasty treats, it may not be a jolly season for your pearly whites.
The most popular holiday treat may be candy canes, but they’re a nightmare for your chompers. Candy canes are a hard candy, which are never easy on the teeth. The sweet treats are loaded with sugar, so much that they are actually nearly all sugar. When you suck on a candy cane, you spread that sugar all over your mouth and between your teeth. The sugar can sit there and fuel bacteria formation, which could lead to cavities. If you asked Dr. Cirocco the best holiday candy to avoid, he would tell you to steer clear of the candy canes! If you do indulge, make sure you rinse with water afterward and brush and floss thoroughly.
Santa isn’t the only one reaching for the cookies! Holiday cookies are often sugar-based. Eating a few too many of these cookies can cause sugar to build on your pearly whites, accelerating tooth decay. Try to limit how many cookies you eat and make sure you give your teeth a good scrub afterward.
Who doesn’t love a handful of some sweet caramel popcorn? While it may be delicious, this popular holiday snack is both sticky and sweet, which is a nightmare for your oral health. Caramel popcorn is loaded with sugar, which makes it so addictive. This sweet and sticky combo can wreak havoc in your mouth, clinging to teeth and causing bacteria to build up. Flossing after you snack on caramel popcorn can get rid of any lingering sugar, caramel, or popcorn kernels.
Peppermint is a flavor that does wonders for your oral health, as long as you’re not getting it from a candy cane! Instead, try some peppermint tea this holiday season. Peppermint moistens your mouth, creating saliva that breaks down food. It can also balance out high acidity and restore a normal pH level in your mouth. A hot cup of mint tea will warm you right up and your teeth will thank you!
Gingerbread isn’t loaded with sugar like other cookies and cakes, making it a great alternative during the holiday season. Switch out the sugar cookies for gingerbread ones to keep your pearly whites healthy and strong.
If you see an almond tray at a holiday party, grab a few! These nuts are loaded with calcium, which strengthens both your teeth and your gums. Slipping a few almonds into your holiday snacking can build stronger teeth that are able to fight off cavities. You can also mix almonds into holiday cookies or roast them to get a delicious and crunchy flavor. The more almonds, the better!