Drop that Candy Cane! The Best and Worst Holiday Foods for your Smile

Here’s a reminder for your patients (and maybe you—we know those treats are tempting!) about keeping your pearly whites healthy this holiday season.

The worst:

  1. Candy Canes – no matter how you eat them these colorful canes are no good for your teeth. If you suck on them you prolong the exposure to sugar, and if you crunch them that sticky, pepperminty treat can get stuck in your teeth.
  2. Eggnog – while this is a love it or hate it kind of drink, if you love it you’re going to end up consuming A LOT of sugar. Not to mention its thick consistency makes it stick to your teeth. And that’s not so loveable.
  3. Chocolate – I know, we’re crying inside too. Usually in those creamy milk chocolates we all love there is (not surprisingly) an abundance of sugar. To digest all that sugar your mouth produces an acid that can dissolve tooth enamel and cause cavities.
    *Good news! Dark chocolate (with a higher cocoa content and less sugar) won’t wreak as much havoc on your teeth. So go grab some for your stocking—we won’t tell!

The best:

  1. Cheese – now this is one holiday food us Wisconsinites at Dental City can get behind! Cheese is antibacterial and has a lower pH level that makes your mouth less acidic, which helps prevent the breakdown of enamel. That holiday cheese tray is now your new best friend.
  2. Nuts – Nuts have a history of being a healthy snack, so it’s a no-brainer to incorporate them into your holiday snacking. They supply calcium and stimulate saliva flow to help reduce the likelihood of cavities.
  3. Turkey – another holiday staple you don’t need to feel guilty about! Turkey is non-fermentable, so it doesn’t encourage the formation of cavities. Not to mention it has phosphorous, which along with calcium (hello, nuts!) produces strong teeth.