Christmas treats and your teeth: what to avoid these holidays

festive treats and teeth
Chocolate should be consumed in moderation, but it is (fortunately) not the worst treat available during the holiday season.

It’s the most wonderfully indulgent time of the year. When every second present you give and receive seems to be something sugar-rich and the main event is an extravagant meal with all the bells and whistles…we have to wonder what kind of effect all this festive food is having on our poor teeth!

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Relax – we aren’t here to tell you that you are officially banned from ‘treating yourself’ this Christmas. Rather, the team at Switch Dental would like you and your loved ones to know which sweet festive treats are going to have a better (or worse) impact on your teeth. With this knowledge, we’d like you to make educated decisions on what you will chew this Christmas:

The Good: Nuts

Christmas parties generally have a bowl of mixed nuts sitting about for guests to munch on. Nuts are rich in calcium – an essential element for strong bones and teeth! Nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts and pecans should be your first choice when you’re eyeing up the treat table.

They also make great toppers on your meals (a better option than sugary sauces or biscuit crumbs).

The bad: Choccies and hard candies (candy canes)

We hate to be the bad-guys…but chocolate is foe (not friend) to the tooth. Chocolate should be consumed in moderation, but it is (fortunately) not the worst treat available during the holiday season. Chocolate dissolves fairly quickly in your mouth, so it doesn’t find itself a spot in which to lodge itself long-term and wreak havoc upon your poor teeth.

Candy canes and other such forms of hard candy are higher on the dental harm scale, as they tend to stick around a bit longer in your mouth and generally contain more sugar. Hard candies are also dangerous if chewed: they can be known to cause a chip or two!

The Ugly: Toffees and Caramels

The big-bads in this treat town are certainly chewy toffees and caramels. Essentially, eating one of these is like coating your teeth in a concrete-like substance that sticks like glue and is made entirely of sugar! The toffees and caramels will get into every nook and cranny on your mouth. The worst part is that they will stick for long periods of time as the sugar eats away at the protective enamel layer on your teeth. Worse than this are the extra-sticky chewables that have been know to claim fillings!

Toffees and caramels are dangerous treats: eat at your own risk because your dentist is generally not open on Christmas day.

After a long hard year, you are perfectly entitled to treat yourself to the odd confectionery. As your local Lower Hutt dentist, we hope that our blog will help you to make better candy calls this Christmas.

Happy Holidays from the team at Switch!

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