How to Enjoy Holiday Sweets Without Ruining Your Teeth

Between the office candy jar and the holiday candy dish at home, it can be difficult to resist the temptation to sneak a few sweets now and then. Worrying about one’s waistline is a common concern during the holiday season, but what about the effect of all of those sweets on your teeth? Take a look at what the experts are saying:

“Sugar is indeed one of the leading causes of dental health problems, but holiday candy can also cause cosmetic problems for your teeth,” said Dr. Elliot Koschitzki of Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry. “After the holiday season, we tend to see an increase in the number of patients complaining of tooth sensitivity, chipped veneers, and chipped teeth,” added Dr. Nick Augenbaum.

Effects of candy on your oral health – and appearance

It’s customary to keep out a dish of hard candy during the holiday season, but exercise caution with these sweets. If you have dental veneers, biting down on hard candy may cause the veneers to develop chips or cracks. If this happens, you can expect to need replacement veneers. Biting down on hard candies can also cause the teeth themselves to develop chipped areas.

Any type of holiday candy that contains sugar is detrimental to the health of your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth feast on sugars and release acids as a byproduct. It’s these acids that wear away the tooth enamel. Eventually, worn enamel can lead to the development of painful tooth sensitivity and even yellowish discoloration.

Smart strategies for enjoying holiday candy

Of course, it isn’t exactly desirable for most people to abstain from their favorite sweets during the holidays. There are strategies you can use to reduce the risk of damaging your oral hygiene and aesthetic appeal of your smile. For starters, avoid biting on hard candies that can chip your teeth or veneers. Hard candies are undesirable for another reason: The length of time they stay in the mouth greatly encourages the proliferation of bacteria and their acidic byproducts. If you’re going to indulge in candy, enjoy your selections all at once instead of eating a candy at different times throughout the day. This minimizes the exposure of sugar to the teeth.

If you choose soft candies such as caramels or sticky candy like toffee, be aware that small pieces of the candy can easily lodge between the teeth. It’s best to thoroughly brush and floss after indulging.

Getting your smile ready for holiday parties

To look your best for your upcoming office parties and family get-togethers, consider booking a consult with Dr. Nick or Dr. Elliot at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry. We provide personalized and rapid smile makeovers to brighten your pearly whites, repair chips, apply dental veneers, and fix all other imperfections so that you can enjoy the beautiful, brilliant smile you deserve. Our dental team also invites you to schedule a teeth cleaning after the holiday season to preserve your dental health. Call us today and be sure to ask us about our current special offers.

Resources:

  1. Colgate, Worst Candy for Teeth Around the Holidays, http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/threats-to-dental-health/article/worst-candy-for-teeth-around-the-holidays-1114
  2. Delta Dental, Stop Acid Erosion, https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/acid_wear.html

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Jacky Gale

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