Don’t Let These Delicious Holiday Treats Hurt Your Smile!


The holidays are just around the corner, so you are probably looking forward to some exciting activities. Whether you enjoy the twinkling lights around the house, listening to cheerful music, or distributing thoughtful gifts to your loved ones, there are so many reasons to be in good spirits. One thing many of us look forward to is all of the delicious holiday treats, but they aren’t all good for your smile. Here are some to be especially wary of.


For some, this beverage is a little too sweet and heavy, but for others, the holiday season just isn’t the same without it. It doesn’t take long to whip up, and it can satisfy your sweet tooth for the whole night. However, as you already know, this beverage is full of sugar which leads to tooth decay and other oral health issues if you aren’t careful. If you like to spike your drink with brandy or bourbon, you could be looking at dry mouth as well. Be sure to only consume eggnog in moderation. If you want to have an adult beverage that isn’t harmful for your teeth, try a gin and tonic or sticking to lighter beer.

Candy Canes

They are minty and refreshing, but candy canes are nearly 100% sugar. They are primarily composed of sucrose, which is common table sugar, and high fructose corn syrup. You don’t want to be sucking on too many of these throughout the day or else you will end up with tooth decay. Definitely keep the candy canes to a minimum. Instead, try chewing on some peppermint flavored sugar-free gum.

Baked Goods

From sugar cookies to gingerbread houses, we all know baked goods aren’t the best thing for our health. However, you seem to see them everywhere this time of year. If you want to avoid the need for fillings this New Year, only enjoy these treats in moderation. Clean your teeth thoroughly afterwards.


This starchy side seems to be perfect for whichever protein you decide on for your main course. Whether you have chicken, turkey, ham, or something else, a couple scoops of stuffing complement the flavor nicely. The issue is that it is very carb heavy. Carbohydrates convert to sugar in the mouth. In the end, stuffing is no better for your teeth than sugary sweets. Keep your portion sizes to a minimum for this side dish. Instead, try to fill up most of your plate with veggies and protein.

You don’t want to spend New Year’s with a mouthful of cavities, so take it easy when it comes to the foods above. If it’s been a while since your last checkup, there’s no better time than now to schedule an appointment. Your smile will thank you!

About the Author

Dr. Ellis Shwarts earned his dental doctorate at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and has completed some additional studies in sleep apnea therapy and dental education. For more ways to keep your smile healthy or to schedule an appointment at his office in Richardson before the year comes to an end, visit his website or call (972) 437-6035.