We know that sugar is bad for our teeth, but the holiday season certainly tests our willpower against sweets and treats. Family and social gatherings are usually catered with platters of cookies, cakes, candies and other sugar goodies to indulge in. Dr. Darian Hampton, a cosmetic dentist in North Dallas, has put together a list of treats to enjoy and treats to avoid.
If you do decide to indulge your sweet tooth throughout the holiday season, make sure you continue to brush and floss normally. It’s also a good idea to schedule a professional teeth cleaning at the start of the New Year.
Enjoy: Peppermint-flavored Beverages
Peppermint flavors help you get into the spirit of the holidays without going overboard with the sugar. Try a peppermint leaf in a cup of water or hot tea or a splash of sugar-free syrup in your morning coffee. Bonus: peppermint is said to help with digestion!
Enjoy: Gingerbread Cookies
Gingerbread cookies are a good option because they have less sugar than other baked goods and candies, while still being tasty and festive. Gingerbread is also low in fat.
Chocolate dissolves quickly in your mouth, so the sugar doesn’t stay in contact with your teeth for very long. Plus, it has calcium in it. We’re not saying you should overindulge, but chocolate is less harmful than some other sweets. Stick to plain chocolate though, as caramel or nut fillings can harm the teeth.
Avoid: Sticky and Chewy Candy
Sticky and chewy sweets like taffy and gumdrops are dangerous because they stick to the teeth and can pull out fillings. If you don’t floss enough, the sugar can stay between the teeth and accumulate. These candies are also difficult for saliva to break down.
Avoid: Hard Candies
Hard candies also spend a lot of time in your mouth, so the sugar stays in prolonged contact with your teeth. Many people get the urge to bite down on hard candies, which is a great way to chip or fracture a tooth.
Avoid: Sour Candies
Sour candies are highly acidic and can break down tooth enamel. Long-term damage caused by enamel erosion is very difficult and costly to treat.
Contact Our Carrolton Dentist
If you’d like more information about keeping your teeth healthy and beautiful this holiday season, please contact Dr. Hampton and our team for suggestions. You can reach our office by calling 972.395.9292 or sending us an email.