Your holiday eating habits can damage your teeth and lead to cavities — for a healthy smile, follow these dos and don’ts.
You know holiday feasting can take a toll on your figure, but what you may not know is that the holidays can also take a toll on your teeth.
It’s alright to indulge a little over the holidays: you might not give up pumpkin pie this year, you’re unlikely to go jogging the day after Thanksgiving, and you might let your well-intentioned diet slide.
Luckily, there are some simple, easy-to-follow steps you can take to keep your teeth as healthy as possible while enjoying the holiday festivities. Before you reach for that candy cane, enjoy some tasty nibbles of dental advice.
Holiday Do’s and Don’ts
Here are a few foods that just might send you on a trip to the dentist in the new year, and a few tips on how to minimize the damage they do:
- Crunchy and sticky foods. Candy canes, peanut butter brittle, toffee, and kettle corn. There are plenty of crunchy and sticky holiday foods that pose a high risk of tooth damage. Especially if you have sensitive teeth, implants, or dental crowns, try to cut back on those tough and chewy snacks.
- The sweet stuff. If you choose to consume sugary foods, do so in moderation. And, even if you choose to indulge, make sure to floss once a day and to brush your teeth in between meals.
- Wine. There are plenty of reasons not to drink wine in excess, but it can be especially tempting during the holidays. But, for your teeth’s sake, cut back a bit. The acid in wine (red, white, or rosé) can deteriorate your enamel and lead to yellowing teeth. For the same reasons, it would also be wise to lower your coffee and tea intake.
- Liquor. Any alcohol, but especially hard liquor, can take a toll on your chompers when consumed for a sustained period of time. Alcohol decreases your saliva output, which can dry your gums and weaken your enamel.
- Nutshells. We’ve all been there: you’re staring at a sealed-up walnut, or maybe a pistachio, and you don’t know where the nutcracker is. You have one of those wooden Erzgebirge nutcrackers on the mantle, but they don’t actually crack nuts…do they? You puzzle, “Why do we call it a nutcracker at all, if it doesn’t crack nuts?” You glance back to the nut cupped in your palm, and fatally declare: “Just this once.” While attempting to pry the nut open with your canines, you immediately feel your enamel give way. Crack. Now, you will need to visit Espire for a porcelain veneer. Don’t crack nuts with your teeth.
Keep in mind…
If you are looking after children this holiday season, make sure they are also aware of these important tips for healthy, strong teeth. To remain proactive about your (and your childrens’) dental health, remember to schedule a teeth cleaning for everyone while they are home for the holidays.
If you do experience tooth damage over the holidays, schedule an appointment at Espire. With locations across the Denver Metro, we offer some of Colorado’s most qualified dentists in a holly, jolly atmosphere.
Happy holidays from the team at Espire!