Three Holiday Treats That Can Cause Damage to Your Teeth

With the holidays approaching, everyone is preparing for a time of great celebration, fellowship and, of course, eating. The holidays are naturally a time when people eat more, especially things that may not be the healthiest choice. During this time, it is important to remember what certain holiday treats can do to your teeth—the last thing anyone wants is a dental emergency right in the middle of the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Here are 3 things to approach with caution.

Candy Canes

Candy canes are a dentist’s worst nightmare, as they can damage your teeth in more than one way, Obviously, the sugar content of a candy cane is enough to wreak havoc on the teeth, causing cavities, tooth breakdown, and sensitivity. But that’s not all—because candy canes are so hard, trying to bite one in half can easily lead to broken tooth.

Peanut Brittle

Much like candy canes, peanut brittle poses a significant threat to your teeth. As the name implies, this snack is meant to be very hard and crunchy—not a good thing when it comes to protecting your teeth. If you simply can’t resist this holiday treat, best to chew it slowly and carefully to avoid any mishaps.

Egg Nog

Many people enjoy egg nog for its thick, rich, and sweet flavor. Unfortunately, thick, rich and sweet are three things that do not align with healthy teeth. Because of egg nog’s viscosity, its sugar and dairy products can remain coated on the teeth long after you’ve finished drinking it, allowing bacteria to feed on the egg nog byproducts and begin the cavity-forming process. The best way to drink egg nog is to either rinse with water when finished or, if possible, brush your teeth afterward.

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Of course, you can still enjoy these holiday treats provided you keep up with a good oral care regimen. In fact, the holidays are a great time to start flossing more diligently, not only because your teeth will need it, but because it can help you get in the habit of flossing more in general. Who knows—you might even find yourself with a New Year’s Eve flossing resolution!

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Melina has written for several journals and is a non practicing dentist.


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