What can you do about sugary foods during the holidays?

Battling holiday sugar to keep your teeth and body healthy can be tough. You want to participate in the holiday cheer. But where do you draw the line?

With Thanksgiving coming up and Christmas just around the corner, sugar and starchy foods seem to be everywhere. And just when you were recovering from Halloween candy! From sweet desserts, stuffing and mashed potatoes to alcoholic beverages—such foods are hard to resist.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends some healthy guidelines to deal with this problem.

Guidelines for Avoiding Holiday Sugar

Here are some guidelines to follow that can help you protect your teeth and overall health.

  • Use moderation. Choose a small number of sugary treats. Allow yourself to enjoy one or two and limit how much of it you eat at one time.
  • Gauge your timing. The best time to eat sugary foods are with meals or shortly after eating a meal. The reason is saliva production. Your mouth produces saliva when you eat. More importantly, saliva helps rinse away food particles. This is helpful because food particles increase the bacteria in your mouth. What’s more, bacteria produce acid that is harmful for teeth. While washing away the food and bacteria, saliva also helps get rid of the acid.
  • Avoid certain foods. Sweet foods that are sticky should top the list. Dried fruits are an example. Not only are they sweet but they also tend to stick to your teeth. This makes them worse for teeth than simply being sweet. If you eat sticky sweet foods, rinse your mouth with water afterward. Also, be sure to brush thoroughly.
  • Restrict alcoholic beverages. An eggnog or hot buttered rum can be tempting. In fact, after drinking one, your resistance lowers, and a few more may be even more tempting. However, limit your drinks. In addition, drink water along with the alcoholic beverage. Drinking water helps rinse away the sugar. It also counteracts the dry mouth effect that alcohol often creates.
  • Limit hard candies. For one thing, hard candies are full of sugar. But not only that, it is easy to break or chip your teeth on them.
  • Curb the starchy foods. Just like sugary foods, starchy foods lead to plaque buildup. Mashed potatoes, cakes and chips can stick around your teeth. Make sure to remove all the food particles when you floss.

Do you have other questions about dental health?

Give us a call at Hutto Hippo Family Dental. Our friendly staff is glad to answer your questions. One thing you’ll like about Hutto Hippo Family Dental is that we don’t believe in making patients wait. We know your time is valuable. Therefore, it’s our office policy is to get you in as soon as possible.

Our number is (512) 806-7740.