Lady eating a candy cane

We hope you’re enjoying the season of sweets – or (as many call it) the holiday season! With so many tempting treats on tables, desks, and in gift boxes this year, we thought we would give you the worst offenders on our seasonal “naughty” list for oral health. Here are the seven treats you should try to avoid as much as possible this holiday season:

Candy canes
Hard candies can damage your teeth in two ways:

First, they are made with sugar, which feeds bacteria. Whether you suck on candy canes or chew them, you are exposing your teeth to sugar over a lengthy period of time.

Second, if you choose to chew on a candy cane, it may cause damage and even chip your teeth.

So, you can see how candy canes made our “naughty” list.

Taffy and caramels
Sugary and sticky treats can really harm your teeth. Not only does the sugar feed oral bacteria, but the stickiness of these candies make them extremely difficult to clean off of your tooth enamel.

This creamy drink is not only filled with plenty of sugar, but it’s often alcoholic. Beverages with alcohol in them dry your mouth, which can cause bad breath and leaves your mouth open to bacterial growth.

We know that popcorn tins are fun and festive, but popcorn kernels can get stuck in your teeth and cause distress. Also, a lot of holiday popcorn is covered with caramel or artificial flavors that aren’t healthy. Instead of indulging in this treat, try snacking on other crunchy snacks like almonds or carrots.

Not only is this holiday staple jam packed with sugar, it also has candied and dried fruit which stick to your teeth. Much like sticky candies, dried fruit can be tough to remove from enamel, making fruitcakes a “no” for the holidays.

Carbonated beverages
Soda and other carbonated drinks can soften your tooth enamel. When you pair that with the amount of sugar that is often in sodas and other soft drinks, you can see why we prefer you drink water or sip on tea.

Alcoholic beverages
As we mentioned above in the “eggnog” spot, alcohol really dries out your mouth. You need your saliva to help keep your mouth clean and to fight bacteria, so if you drink this holiday season – do so responsibly and try to supplement your saliva with plenty of water.

If this list makes us look like the Grinch, that’s not our intention! You can still eat your favorite treats this holiday season. However, it’s important to all of us at 181 Dental that you are aware of what you are eating – and that you enjoy the holiday bounty in moderation.

Do you have questions or do you need to schedule your next oral wellness checkup? Contact us today! We can’t wait to hear from you.