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As you spend this holiday season surrounded by loved ones, it can be tempting to head straight for the sugary, starchy, and sometimes acidic foods that make up traditional holiday bites.

Our McAllen dentists at WhiteWing Dental want you to have the best holiday season that you can. That’s why we would like to offer you a bit of advice so that you can start the new year on the right foot when it comes to your dental health.

While it can be difficult to completely avoid these foods, you’ll definitely want to limit how much you enjoy them.

9 Treats To Avoid This Holiday Season

  1. Candy Canes
  2. These hard, sugar-filled candies can cause serious cavities and even chip away at your teeth if you happen to bite down on them the wrong way. Dentists generally recommend that you stay away from these treats and simply use them as Christmas tree decorations.

  3. Fruitcake
  4. It’s dry, sugary, and certainly not worth the calories. This dense cake can create a sugary mush between your teeth and even dislodge fillings and crowns.

  5. Spirits and Alcohol
  6. The acidity and sugar found in holiday drinks can be just as damaging, if not more, than some of the season’s sugary treats. Drinking can cause harm to your teeth by drying out your mouth, which then becomes the perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria that can erode healthy enamel.

    Limit the number of drinks you consume and drink water in between to rinse away acidic molecules.

  7. Corn on the Cob
  8. While this vegetable is delicious, eating corn straight off the cob is as messy as it is potentially bad for your teeth as those pesky kernels can easily get lodged between your teeth and end up causing a plaque buildup. If you plan on eating corn on the cob, go for the loose kernels or consider using a knife to cut off rows of kernels at a time that you can then eat with a fork.

  9. Eggnog
  10. This is the triple threat of holiday foods. Eggnog contains excessive amounts of sugar, alcohol, and dairy – all of which can cause cavities and enamel erosion. Even eggnog that has no alcohol can be bad for your teeth, as the sugar mixes with dairy proteins that then creates a sulfate compound that not only helps harmful bacteria to thrive but can also lead to bad breath.

  11. Hot Chocolate  
  12. This hot holiday drink is undoubtedly a classic, especially on those cold winter days. But you’ll really want to limit the amount you and your loved ones drink. At high temperatures, this drink can lead to enamel sensitivity, which can be made worse by the sugar content of the chocolate mixed with dairy milk.

    If you plan to take a sip, just make sure it’s not too hot and always drink water afterwards to rinse away excess sugar particles.

  13. Coffee
  14. A favorite around the chilly holiday season, a warm cup of coffee can really help to beat those winter shivers. Just be aware that the caffeine in coffee can reduce salivary flow, causing dry mouth and bad breath.

    Furthermore, make sure to limit coffee consumption because of the staining properties that can lessen the vibrancy of your smile.

  15. Dried Fruit
  16. You may think that this snack is a healthier substitution to all the sugary, starchy goodies on the dining table. Although it is better in terms of nutritional value, dried fruit can be just as sugar dense and sticky as gummies.

    This treat can end up getting stuck in the spaces and crevices between teeth, leading to cavities or other oral health issues.

  17. Tin Popcorn
  18. Those glimmering tins of assorted flavored popcorn can be alluring. However, an unpopped kernel can cause a serious toothache if you happen to accidentally bite down on one.

All the popcorn you eat can also create a starchy film that collects on the molars. If you decide to eat some caramel corn, be sure to inspect your handful for hard kernels and always follow up with proper flossing and brushing to remove lingering pieces.

Give yourself the gift that keeps on giving: healthy teeth and a gorgeous smile.

Your family dentists at WhiteWing Dental in McAllen and La Feria want to wish you a happy holiday season. We hope that you will keep these potentially harmful holiday foods and beverages in mind when deciding what to consume.

Good dental health is essential to living a healthy, happy life. Remember to keep a good oral hygiene routine all year long, including rinsing, flossing, and brushing twice a day – especially after each holiday meal if possible.

For all your dental needs, contact WhiteWing Dental today at 956-686-5577.