The festive season is here and it is time to celebrate and
enjoy seeing family and friends. A big focus is taken on food at this
time of year. Many festive foods and drinks can damage our teeth. It is
important to keep good eating and drinking habits over Christmas and
Here are some tooth-friendly tips to get you through the holiday season.
1. Avoid mindless eating
Sugary treats are bad for our teeth, especially when we eat them too often or eat too much.
Mindless eating is the opposite of mindful eating. It is when we eat without even thinking twice about it. We eat because food is present, not because we are hungry. Before reaching for another sweet treat, you should ask yourself ‘am I really hungry?’ If you are not hungry, try to eat a more tooth-friendly treat instead, such as some popcorn, or save yourself for a main meal.
The ADA’s Tooth-friendly treats cookbook includes 20 dentist-recommended sweet treat recipes. These treats are great options for the holiday season when you want something sweet. Buy the hardcopy or e-book here.
2. Can the candy cane
Hard lollies are the worst. They are made of 100% sugar and can cause
teeth and fillings to break. Hard lollies also take longer to dissolve
in the mouth. This means that the sugar from the lollies sits on the
surface of the teeth for longer. This habit can increase your risk of
developing tooth decay.
Think about swapping candy canes for a tooth-friendly treat or a small, non-edible treat instead.
3. Limit sugary drinks and alcohol
Sugary drinks and alcohol can also damage teeth. Regularly drinking these drinks may increase your risk of developing tooth erosion.
If you are drinking alcohol at parties, try to decrease how many sugary drinks you have by using soda water as a mixer rather than a soft drink. Drinking a glass of water between alcoholic drinks is also a good idea. It helps to rinse the acidic drink from the teeth and mouth. Alcohol can also make you dehydrated, so it is important to drink water regularly to help you stay hydrated.
One final tip – These drinks can soften the tooth enamel. It is best to wait at least 60 minutes after your last sugary or alcoholic drink before brushing your teeth. Brushing too soon can damage the softened tooth enamel.