Five foods to avoid for a healthy smile

Keep your teeth and gums in good shape over the festive season.

The holiday season is upon us, which means that there will be plenty of temptation around — sweet treats, sugary drinks and party snacks, to name a few. While there’s no need to deny yourself some of the season’s pleasures, it is important that you take care of your oral health over the holidays. Here’s what you should try and avoid for the sake of your teeth…

Five foods to avoid for a healthy smile
  1. Hard candy

    Hard candy can be very detrimental when it comes to your oral health, which is why we recommend that you try and avoid it as much as possible. Christmas treats like candy canes take a long time to eat, and tend to expose the teeth to high levels of sugar over extended periods of time. This gives the bacteria in the mouth the opportunity to feed on sugars and produce acid, increasing the chance of tooth decay. If you want to indulge in something sweet, rather choose chocolate, which can be eaten quickly and easily rinsed off the surface of the teeth.

  2. Sticky candy

    Sticky and chewy candies like toffee and caramel can also cause some serious damage to the teeth. Because of the texture, these candies tend to coat the teeth in sugar, which can lead to tooth decay as well as damage to the enamel. If you can, try and avoid caramel popcorn, sticky toffees and cookies with caramel fillings.

  3. Sugary drinks

    Consuming drinks that are loaded with sugar can increase your risk of tooth decay considerably, so try and limit your intake as much as possible. Some common Christmas culprits include sweet eggnog, hot cocoa, and sugar-packed cocktails. It’s fine to enjoy a sweetened drink every now and then, but just be sure to drink plenty of water and consider options like unsweetened teas or plain milk from time to time.

  4. White wine

    White wine is very acidic, which means that it can cause damage to the teeth by eroding the protective layer of enamel. When the enamel is eroded, the teeth become more vulnerable to damage and you may experience issues like sensitivity and decay.

  5. Baked goods

    Although baked goods are often a Christmas staple, it is best to avoid treats that are packed with sugar. Cakes, cookies and brownies all tend to contain high levels of sugar, plus these starchy snacks can easily get stuck in hard-to-reach places in the mouth, exposing the teeth to sugars for long periods of time. If you do enjoy the odd piece of cake or a cookie or two, try and remember to rinse your mouth out with some water afterwards to get rid of any leftover particles that may have got stuck between your teeth and along the gumline.

No matter what you choose to eat and drink this festive season, remember that it is important that you stick to healthy hygiene habits at home. We recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day — this will also help to wash away leftover food particles and bacteria in the mouth.

If it has been a while since your last dental check-up, we encourage you to come in and see us. It is crucial that you have a professional check-up every six months so that we can check for irregularities, cavities and other oral health issues. It’s also a good idea to have your teeth cleaned regularly in order to remove plaque that has built up over time. If you would like to make an appointment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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