DENTIST IN OAK HILL DISCUSSES THE BEST (AND WORST) FOODS OVER THE HOLIDAYS!
Posted by Jack Fan Oct 18, 2018
It’s that time of year again! From Halloween through New Year’s, it seems like there are endless goodies to be eaten everywhere you look. In addition to the extra desserts you make at home, you might also find the office breakroom filled with cookies and candy as well! But, unfortunately, an estimated 27% of Americans from age 20-64 have untreated cavities – and all these sweet foods certainly don’t help. So how can you enjoy the holiday season to the fullest, without it taking a toll on your teeth and gums? It’s simple: practice good prevention and make good dietary choices. Keep reading to learn more about some simple strategies you can use to avoid major dental work from a dentist in Oak Hill this year!
WHAT ARE THE BEST AND WORST FOODS TO EAT DURING THE HOLIDAYS?
Here are some common holiday foods to minimize:
- Candies – In particular, limit anything sticky like caramel and toffee that adheres to your teeth.
- Lemon and other acidic citrus fruits – These fruits are healthy in moderation, but minimize things like lemon water because the acids can wear away at your enamel over time.
- Dried fruit – Dried fruit is very high in sugar and also has a sticky texture that adheres to the teeth.
- Coffee and alcohol – In addition to being acidic, coffee and alcohol are often sweetened as well, so enjoy both in moderation.
Here are some foods you can enjoy without worrying about damaging your teeth:
- Crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples and celery
- Leafy greens
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO TO KEEP YOUR SMILE HEALTHY?
In addition to making good dietary choices, here are some other simple things you can do during the holidays to make sure your smile stays healthy:
- Do well with your oral hygiene – It’s always important to brush at least twice a day and floss once, but it’s extra important when you’re eating more sweet foods than usual. It’s also a good idea to keep some sugar-free gum on hand for those times when you can’t brush after a snack or meal.
- Use extra topical fluoride – You can either pick up some fluoride mouthwash at the store or, if you’re especially cavity-prone, ask your dentist for a prescription-strength fluoride paste.
- Don’t snack or graze – It’s not only the amount of sugar your teeth are exposed to, but the frequency of exposure that counts.
- Schedule a checkup – Scheduling a checkup at this time of year is a good idea for multiple reasons! First, you can get a professional cleaning and polishing so that your teeth look and feel great going into the holiday season. Second, if you do have any undiagnosed cavities, they can be treated when they’re small and easy to fix. And finally, many people’s insurance benefits end on December 31st, so it’s a good idea to take advantage before you lose them.
The holidays are a time of year that’s filled with laughter, fun and great food. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to enjoy them – without spending a lot of time in the dental chair!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Jack Fan is a general and restorative dentist in Oak Hill who focuses on prevention first, treatment second. He knows that his patients enjoy the holidays as much as he does, so he always educates them on how to prevent cavities and other oral health problems before they start. If you have any other questions about your oral health during the holidays, he can be reached via his website or at (512) 361-4288.