Fall Foods and Your Oral Health
Warm, cakey apple cider donuts sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Tantalizing apple pie crisp with layers and layers of buttery, flaky crust and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Smooth piping hot pumpkin spiced lattes topped with heavenly whipped cream—are you hungry yet?
Many people look forward to the fall season because of the food—from the sugary delight of Halloween to the belly-filling richness of Thanksgiving which leads right up to the jolly festivities of Christmas and Hanukkah. As your dentists, we’re not here to stop the party. Though we admit all that sugar gives us thundering palpitations, we can only guide you to make the right choices while still having fun.
Moderation is Your Best Friend
In a perfect world, it would be great if absolutely no sugar graces your lips, but that’s just not ideal. Even we dentists dabble a little because chocolate is good for the soul, right? This is where moderation comes in. You don’t have to go sugar hungry, but you don’t need to gorge on the entire dessert table either. Use smaller plates and help yourself to a little of everything. A small slice of pie or a tiny piece of a snickerdoodle is better than three helpings. Make sure to drink lots of water and rinse to remove the sugar and starch stuck in your teeth.
Celebrating at Home
This year the holiday season will be a little different because of the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has drastically changed all our lives, from the way we work to the way we gather. Many families will be celebrating quietly at home with just immediate loved ones.
One of the biggest trends of quarantine is the rise in baking. Some have turned to bake because their local grocery stores faced the nationwide shortage of flour, others took it up as a new hobby or sought baking sweets as a source of comfort in an uncertain time. Pandemic baking is actually one of the greatest things to happen for your oral health. Instead of indulging in unhealthy processed treats from the store, baking at home puts you in charge of what goes into your food and how much.
So the next time you’re in the kitchen, experiment with different ingredients to make healthier versions of the holiday treats you love. Crave pudding? Swap coconut or avocado for the fluffiest decadent chocolate pudding. When making pies, use a lighter hand for sugar or opt for natural sweeteners like agave nectar, fruit, or honey. For bread and cake dishes, try alternative flours like oat or almond.
Candy and Braces?
If you have a little ghoul at home, chances are they’re looking forward to the fall because of Halloween. Halloween can be tricky to navigate with braces, but it’s still possible! It should be a no-brainer to stay away from taffy apples, caramels, and other sticky candies. Hard candies are also a no-go including lollipops and nut and toffee filled chocolates. Oh, and please hold the bubble gum! Soft candies that melt in your mouth are perfect to enjoy with braces. Think chocolate, especially dark chocolate since it has less sugar, gelatin treats, and ice cream.
We hope you make good choices and practice proper dental hygiene with flossing and brushing this fall. But accidents and even emergencies happen. As you’re dentists, we’re here for you if this ever occurs. Whether it’s cavities, tooth decay, or a broken bracket, don’t delay visiting your local dentist for treatment.