Holiday Sugars and Tooth Staining: What to Avoid, What to Do


The holiday season provides the perfect opportunity to indulge in special foods and treats; it is also important to take care of your oral health. The teeth and gums have to put up with a lot over the holidays, so let’s look at the biggest challenges and what you can do to live it up a little and still avoid the worst.

Understanding which treats will cause tooth staining and other oral health problems are the first step. Moderating your intake of harmful food and drink will help keep teeth and gums healthy. A regular and effective oral health regimen is also essential to maintain.

Sweet Treats

The number one offender when it comes to the holiday tooth attack is sweet treats. Candies, sodas, biscuits, cakes, puddings, and cookies are all high in sugar content. If you cannot altogether avoid these treats, do your best to limit your intake. Alternatively, you can turn to brands with lower sugar content to reduce the impact on your teeth and gums. In either case, drink extra water. (More about that in a minute.)


White wine is highly acidic and therefore harms tooth enamel. As your first defense against infection and decay, it is crucial to protect tooth enamel from erosion. Red wine is less acidic; however, tooth staining can result from overconsumption. Try to avoid overdoing the wine drinking when possible and ensure that your oral health practices such as brushing and flossing are maintained.

Processed Cereals

Tooth decay and high sugar content go hand-in-hand. Processed cereals, which are high in sugar, are typically eaten after you have brushed and flossed. The sugars then have an entire day to work on eroding enamel and promoting tooth decay. You can get into the habit of brushing after breakfast or turn to healthier alternatives. Eggs or any other breakfast that is low in sugar are also a better alternative to processed cereals.

Avoiding Oral Health Issues Over the Holidays

The first and most direct way to avoid oral health problems is avoiding sugary or acidic foods over the holidays. Foods like turkey, cheese, nuts, vegetables, and cranberries are healthier alternatives to sweet treats. By mixing it up with these tooth-friendly foods, you can reduce the detrimental impact of holiday treats.

With that said, there are ways to ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy without sacrificing too many of the things you love. Brushing and flossing regularly will keep teeth and gums clean. However, you can do one more simple thing to wash those sugars and acids away. Drink lots of water!

Hydration is essential for overall health, but drinking water throughout the day has the added benefit of keeping your mouth free of harmful substances, too. Sugars and acids require time to erode enamel and cause tooth decay. So keep water nearby and drink it often.

Learn more about tooth-staining foods and healthier alternatives by contacting Nishan Halim DMD today with any questions you may have. We are committed to promoting oral health education in Washington DC.

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