It’s that time of year once again: Junk food season is upon us. We still have candy left from Halloween, and Thanksgiving (with its pumpkin pie, ice cream and marshmallows that seem to find their way into everything) is fast approaching. For many people, Christmas follows suit, with sugar cookies and candy canes galore.
Here at Nevills Family Dentistry, we enjoy our treats as much as you do. I love Good ‘N Plenty candy and pumpkin pie. For Dr. Megan, it’s Hot Tamales and dark chocolate. You don’t have to avoid treats during the holidays. But it is important to manage them for the sake of your oral health. Here are some tips:
Save treats for dessert – not for snacks
Sugar creates an acidic environment in your mouth that allows cavities to form. Reduce the amount of time your mouth is in that acidic state during the day by choosing a healthy snack instead of a sugary one. Save treats for after meals when you are eating anyway.
Some treats are worse than others
Sticky and chewy treats that get stuck in your teeth are much worse than those that melt away. The chewy candy can remain in your mouth for days if not taken care of.
Sugar-free foods do provide some advantage
Consuming sugar-free or sugar-reduced foods really is better for your teeth than the full-fledged sugar versions. Every little bit helps!
It’s not just about candy
Many foods have a surprising amount of sugar: soda, bread, and even ketchup. Foods containing fructose, dextrose, and lactose all have the same acidic effects as the sugar in cookies and candy. Be an informed consumer and read food labels.
Most importantly, brush and floss after meals!
Regardless of how you eat during the holidays, make sure that you are brushing and flossing regularly and after meals. It keeps your mouth out of that acidic state and prevents cavities.
The holidays are a great time to schedule a dental appointment for yourself and your kids when they are on vacation. Dr. Megan is offering free exams to new patients, so if you or someone you know is looking for great dental care from a friendly and fun team, call and make an appointment! Enjoy your delicious, sugary treats, brush and floss your teeth, and have a safe and wonderful holiday season from all of us at Nevills Family Dentistry!