With parties, dinners, and treats everywhere, it’s definitely the season to be merry! We all know that overindulging in sugary snacks can lead to oral health problems, but have you ever thought which of your favorite holiday drinks would hurt your teeth? Sugary holiday drinks may make you feel festive, but here is a list of holiday beverages that make dentists’ naughty list.
A winter staple, nothing quite warms you up like a cup of cocoa after skating, sledding, or making snowmen. However, cocoa and marshmallows contain plenty of sugar, which can lead to tooth decay and cavities on teeth.
Even though you might hope that the alcohol in your favorite mixed drink would kill the bacteria in your mouth, this doesn’t mean that drinking alcoholic beverages is good for your oral health. Alcohol dries up your mouth, and without as much saliva to protect your teeth, bacteria can do more damage to your tooth enamel. Also, sugary mixers like sodas and citrus juices have high acidity levels – meaning you’re exposing your teeth to acid and sugars without much saliva to wash it away.
Most people drink coffee year-round, but between the delicious holiday specialty coffee drinks, holiday shopping, and get-togethers with friends and family, your coffee consumption might increase more than you realize. The caffeine in coffee can decrease the amount of saliva that your mouth produces – and saliva is crucial in washing away harmful sugars from the surface of your teeth.
Though wine doesn’t have the high sugar content like some other drinks, it can still dry out your mouth. Red wine can also cause teeth staining over time, so be sure to switch to water between glasses of wine to rinse potential staining off your teeth.
We hate to be the bearers of bad tidings, but eggnog might be the worst holiday beverage for your teeth. It has the triple threat of sugar, dairy, and sometimes alcohol. Dairy can contribute to bad breath, bacteria in the mouth feed off of the sugar, and alcohol dries out the mouth, creating a perfect environment for bacteria to multiply. For the sake of your dental health, this might be the drink to skip – or at least have very sparingly.