Holiday Sweets are Not Good for Your Teeth!
By Mina Levi, DDS, 11/26/2014

As the winter holidays approach and with Thanksgiving just around the corner, we know that sweets like pumpkin pie and candy canes are a given. As much as these treats are great on the lips, they aren't so great on the teeth! In this article, Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi, DDS goes over some Holiday oral care tips about the sweet foods we love.

Holiday sweets that cause cavities

How do sweet foods and drinks cause cavities?
When you eat sugary foods or drinks, naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugar and create acids as a by-product. These acids then wear down the tooth enamel, making it weaker and more susceptible to tooth decay as well as a host of other problems, including gingivitis. Snacking on sweets throughout the day or during an extended period of time (such as at a holiday party) is especially harmful, since damaging acids form in the mouth every time you eat a sugary snack and continue to affect the teeth for at least 20 minutes afterwards.

Tips for Holiday oral care:

1. Eating sugary or carbohydrate-rich foods as part of a balanced meal is better than eating them alone. The body produces more saliva to help digest larger meals, which washes away more food and helps neutralize harmful acids before they can attack teeth.

2. Foods that take a long time to chew can damage teeth. That's because sticky foods, including nutritious choices like raisins, dates and dried fruit, hold acid against teeth longer than do other foods. Try to limit your consumption of these foods.

3. After consuming high-acid food (fruits) or drinks (wine), rinse with water before brushing your teeth to prevent tooth erosion from the acids.

4. Keep a toothbrush and travel-size toothpaste handy (for example, in your pocket or purse or store these in the glove compartment of your car) so that you can brush right after eating at holiday parties.

5. An added benefit is that you are less likely to eat after you brush your teeth, so you may end up eating less at parties.

6. If you're unable to brush your teeth after eating, rinsing your mouth thoroughly with water or chewing sugar-free gum will help to wash away food particles, produce more saliva and neutralize acids in your mouth

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the effect that sweets have on your teeth during the Holiday season, visit Mina Levi, DDS on the web at or give us a call at (415) 513-5066.

Source: Delta Dental Ins