Christmas is a time of fun and lots of eating – at home and in the workplace. Between Christmas dinner and office parties, you’ll have a world of food pushed at you and in your mouth without a care.
But if you want to avoid toothache, teeth stains and a costly trip to the dentist in the new year, here are five foods you should steer clear of during the festive season:
- Sweets, biscuits and cakes
These are the mainstay of just about every Christmas party, but is it worth the dental calamity in the end? Then there’s the endless supply of chocolate, mince pies and Christmas puddings, which can be so tempting…
If you want to avoid the effect of the sugars these ‘baddies’ contain, you need to be aware that sugars are a prime cause of the acidic biofilm which causes dental decay, according to Denplan.
Acid resulting from frequent consumption of refined sugar dissolves the minerals that your teeth need to stay healthy. If you know that you can’t help yourself and will overindulge then try to have sweets in one go after your Christmas meal, rather than picking throughout the day.
- Fizzy drinks
If you like a bit of fizz in your soft drinks or mixers, why not opt for soda water. Fizzy drinks are loaded with sugar and even sugar-free or diet drinks are still acidic. Taken in excess, these drinks can cause tooth enamel to erode away.
if that isn’t warning enough and you can’t resist them, use a straw to reduce any direct contact the drink has with your teeth.
- Processed cereals
Breakfast may not be the most important meal when it comes to the festive season, but if you’re looking to grab something quick and easy breakfast to line your stomach for a bit of revelry then avoid processed cereals – you’ll be amazed at how much sugar is hidden in these! A much better option would be a trusty bowl of porridge or bran-based cereals or, better still, eggs!
If the thought of a sensible breakfast makes you bulk, then remember to clean your teeth before you eat or half an hour after so you don’t damage your enamel.
Personally, I always avoid crisps I. A social setting unless my hand is the first to go in when the packet is opened…you’d be amazed at how many people don’t wash their hands after a visit to the toilet, pick their nose and other things (gross, I know!), and then dip their hands into a bowl of crisps without a care in the world, spreading germs in the process.
Cooked starch breaks down into component sugars – the main enemy for teeth. Why not opt for carbs low on the glycaemic index such as vegetable crisps instead? Past up chips, for example, are very scrumptious and they don’t even taste as boring as you’d expect something this sensible to taste!
If you love a glass of wine or two at Christmas stay away from white wine, because it can be very acidic and contribute to enamel erosion. If you must, try drinking it just with your main meal – drinking little and often is far worse than drinking once a day.
Red wine can also increase the risk of teeth staining, especially if you forget to brush your teeth as often as you should!