The average American eats around 6,000 calories on Christmas day, and Americans use an average of seven pounds of sugar over the holidays in baked good, drinks and more.
This holiday season, as you and your family eat to your heart’s content, don’t forget to slow down and keep your teeth’s health in mind. To help you take care of your pearly whites, we found some Christmas treats you should avoid and others to enjoy to keep your teeth merry this holiday season.
The Worst Teeth Treats:
- Wine: Even though mulled wine is so cozy and heart-warming this time of year, don’t indulge too much. Since wine is acidic, it can wear down your tooth enamel. Also, the vibrant red color can stain your teeth, especially if you don’t brush after drinking it.
- Sticky, chewy or hard treats: If you get a box of saltwater taffy, take some caramel chews from your child’s stocking or chomp down on peanut brittle, be very careful while chewing if you have cavities or crowns. The candy can pull them out or even break your teeth.
- Sugary cakes, cookies and pies: Festive Christmas cookies and delicious holiday drinks not only bring holiday cheer, but also can bring cavities. Sugar builds up bacteria on your teeth, which can cause tooth decay.
The Best Teeth Treats:
- Crudites: As you nibble on carrots and celery, you feel better and so do your teeth. These raw vegetables massage your gums, which encourages blood flow, and cleans your teeth too.
- Cheese: While you savor the variety of cheeses on the holiday table, your teeth are thanking you. Cheese has calcium, which makes your teeth stronger. It also balances out the pH in your mouth, which lessens the damaging effects of acid on tooth enamel and helps kill bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease.
- Sugar-free gum: After eating your favorite holiday snacks, chew some sugar-free gum to give your teeth a treat. As you chew gum, saliva starts to flow in your mouth, which helps wash away debris and prevents acid and bacteria from building up on your teeth.