SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The holidays can lift your spirits but also widen your waistline and sour your smile.
Celebrate too much and you'll need more than a diet. Sugary treats like candy canes obviously aren't great for your teeth, but there may be other not-so-obvious threats waiting at the office holiday party.
Here's why many holiday favorites can damage your dental work. You might not realize the stuffing and mashed potatoes on your plate can cause problems for your teeth.
Why? Carbohydrates react with the bacteria naturally found in our mouths.
"It produces harmful acids that can dissolve your enamel and your teeth and your teeth are prone to decay," said Dr. Bahar Nia.
If you drown your potatoes in gravy, it’s even worse. Gravy is oily and can stick to your teeth. It’s usually made by adding flour or starch that creates the acids that erode tooth enamel.
Pecan Pie? Lots of sugars and doesn’t play well with your tooth enamel either.
Now, chase your holiday with a slice of pie with some loaded eggnog and you have more trouble. Sugar is a factor once again but any drink with alcohol can also harm your teeth.
"Alcohol dries your mouth and any combination of dry mouth and sugary expedites tooth decay," said Nia.
Nia isn't suggesting avoiding all the holiday goodness you enjoy. Basic rules still apply. Moderation of intake, and make sure you brush and floss after and you'll be fine.
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