Dr. Philip Openshaw would like for you to know that its not just candy and chocolate that cause tooth issues during the holidays, simply eating more and more often can cause decay to strike in people it usually doesn’t.
Sugar: Sugar, of course, is the #1 culprit in causing cavities. The worst offenders are sticky foods like lollipops, hard candies, and gum drops. They give you a double whammy. Not only are they high in sugar, but they also stick to your teeth for a long time after you eat. Surprisingly chocolate is less like to be a culprit because it binds with fat molecules and doesn’t stick to teeth as well as other candies. If you do eat a lot of sugary foods, try to do so at mealtimes when increased saliva can wash sugar off teeth.
Starches: Bread and potatoes are very popular parts of traditional holiday meals. But, the refined flour in white bread and the starch in potatoes are essentially sugars and so will affect your teeth the same way refined sugar does. So cut back on those rolls, mashed potatoes, holiday cookies, and potato chips.
Alcohol: An occasional drink at a holiday party is okay. But excess alcohol wears away tooth enamel, discoloring teeth and making them vulnerable to cavities.
The good news is there are a lot of foods that are healthy for your teeth as well. In general most fruits and vegetables help strengthen your teeth – as do a lot of foods containing protein.
Fruits and Vegetables: Any fruit or veggie with a lot of fiber will help out. Onions, celery, kiwis, parsley, and apples are all singled out by experts as being particularly good for your teeth. So look for holiday recipes that include these foods.
Dairy Products: In general cheese, yogurt, milk, and other dairy products (without added sugar), are good choices for the teeth. They help generate saliva which washes sugars off the teeth and they contain calcium, which strengthens them.
Remember you can always call us with any questions! Happy Holidays!
From all of us at the office of Dr. Philip Openshaw