Keeping your smile healthy during the holiday season doesn’t necessarily mean avoiding sugar entirely–it means making good choices around which sweet foods to eat.
1. Sweet foods that are chewy or sticky, like fruitcake, tend to cling to the surface of your teeth more than non-sticky foods like chocolate or grapes. The more sugary foods stick to your teeth, the more damage they cause, so choose non-sticky foods when possible.
2. If you eat a sugary snack, eat it along with a meal. That way, the other drinks and foods help prevent the sugar from clinging to your teeth.
3. Avoid treats like candy canes, which stay in your mouth for a relatively long period of time. This is the equivalent of soaking your teeth in sugar. Instead, eat snacks like cookies that you chew and swallow quickly.
4. Whenever possible, brush your teeth right after eating a sweet food to remove the sugar from your teeth and prevent it from eroding the enamel.
5. Eating cheese rather than sugary treats protects your teeth’s enamel from erosion caused by sugar. In addition to being better for you than a snack like pecan pie, cheese also helps prevent future dental health problems.