Christmas Teeth-Saving Tips
One of the main downsides of the holidays is the Christmas Bulge. With all that binge-ing and not much exercise, it’s easy for a few kilos to sneak in. Then January arrives, and you try to shed them with a gym membership and New Year’s resolutions. While the extra weight will come off eventually, the damage you do to your teeth is a bit harder to reverse.
Regarding dentistry, prevention is always better than cure. That’s why our Dental Avenue experts suggest brushing and flossing twice a day, backed up by professional cleaning twice a year. Over the holidays, you should plan your menus in a way that protects your teeth. Sugar is a big part of Christmas celebrations, so you can’t avoid it completely.
Still, you can temper your sugar intake to minimise the damage. For example, when you’re shopping for the chocolate to place on the table, sneak in the stockings, or hang from the Christmas tree branches, you can choose a more ‘healthy’ option. Read the food labels carefully to see how much sugar, carbs, and calories are present in each pack.
Just as an example, Quality Street chocolate has 58.5 grams of sugar in every 100 g package. On the other hand, Lindt truffles only have 39 grams in every 100 g, so you’re better off nibbling a truffle than unwrapping a sweet from Quality Street. You’ll still get your chocolate fix, but you’ll consume a lot less sugar.
If you don’t have the discipline to shed the chocolate altogether, start small. Saying no to a chocolate bar is hard, but you can dodge the chocolate coated biscuits and chocolate cream. In their place, eat some Christmas themed biscuits like shortbread or gingerbread.
Of course, it’s not just candy that contains hidden sugar. Foods marinated in cranberry sauce or glazed with honey can overwork your teeth. Consider substituting them for different Christmas items like chilli chutney or pepper sauce. They still have some sugar, but not as much as cranberries.
Another sugar culprit is Christmas fruitcake. It contains high levels of glucose and fructose, thanks to all that brandy and dried fruit. Christmas isn’t Christmas without cake, but you can cut down the sugar by foregoing the icing, which can contain over 20g of sugar.
Serve the cake with unsweetened whipped cream or a creamy mug of hot chocolate with no sugar added. If you still need that sugar fix, serve ripe fruit instead of refined sugar. Apples and peaches are a good option because they have a little bite. Add some nuts to the mix. The texture of nuts will remove some of the sticky sugars from your teeth.
It’s possible to still enjoy your Christmas holidays without damaging your teeth. You just need a little smart thinking and creative cooking. So go ahead and have a lovely Christmas, but don’t forget to check in with your dentist.
For more dental advice and a holiday check-up, call our Maroubra Clinic on 02 80040055.