During the holidays you are probably less strict about what you eat and drink. Holidays are a time to have fun, to stuff yourself with delicious food, and to drink alcohol and other special beverages to your heart's content.

But the extra sugar in all the holiday food can wreak havoc on your teeth, and if you could ask your dentist what he or she was wishing for at holiday time, you would probably receive the following list:

1. Keep your sugar consumption to a minimum

The bacteria that live in your mouth and cause tooth decay thrive on sugar. Each time you eat something sugary, the bacteria produce acids that begin to erode your teeth.

  • Choose fruit or other sugar free deserts and snacks during the holidays.
  • Eat sweets containing the artificial sweetener Xylitol, which can reduce the buildup of plaque by reducing the amount of the cavity causing Streptococcus mutans bacteria in your mouth.

2. Chew sugar-free gum for about 20 minutes after every meal

  • Chewing gum produces extra saliva which then helps to rinse away plaque and bacteria.
  • Chewing gum helps release food particles stuck on and between your teeth.

3. Consume dark chocolate like it's going out of style

  • Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are compounds that help protect your heart from disease (there is a correlation between heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and dental health).
  • Choose dark chocolate with at least 60 % real cocoa for optimal health results.

4. Avoid sticky candy and food at all costs

  • Don't eat large quantities of cranberries and raisins, taffy and gum drops. All of these foods stick to your teeth for longer than other foods and snacks, increasing the potential for decay.
  • Chewy food can get stuck in braces, and even loosen the bands. (Children with braces should also avoid very hard candies, which can break off the front brackets of braces).

If you can try to keep the amount of sugar that comes in contact with your teeth to a minimum, your oral bacteria will remain under control and you hopefully won't get any new cavities. If you simply can't control yourself and have to indulge in sugary or sticky foods, then try to eat them all in one sitting.


Exposing your teeth to sugar for a long period of time is much worse than eating large amounts in one go. But if you are careful about the amount of holiday sugar you consume, you can go on enjoying holiday after holiday without dental problems and your dentist will also appreciate a much needed vacation. To learn more, contact a company like Dental Associates PC with any questions you have.