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Fall is here and with it comes the holiday festivities laden with foods and beverages that aren’t good for our teeth. We would like to help you navigate this season of celebration by reminding you of the foods that can harm our smiles, to better prepare you when you are faced with goodies and treats with well-meant intentions and making choices at parties or other social gatherings.

The most destructive empty-calorie food involves sugar. Festive cakes, candies, cookies, pies, and muffins may look and taste divine, but they do leave behind destruction on your teeth. Hard, sticky candies are the most destructive on your pearly whites. But that’s not all. Empty calorie snacks like chips also have sugars that cling to your pearly whites and feed harmful bacteria in the mouth. As this occurs, the bacteria create acids that can cause tooth enamel erosion leading to cavities.

Of course, it isn’t just food that sweetens the palate while harming your smile. Sweetened drinks sipped throughout the day bathe your teeth in decay-causing sugar. Whether your beverage of choice is hot chocolate, teas, coffees, sodas, juices, lemonade or sports drinks, all of them invite decay. Limit consumption to mealtimes, and drink water throughout the day to protect your teeth.

Acidic foods wear down tooth enamel as well. Tomatoes, citrus fruit, curries and hot sauces are filled with acid. Eating these with meals helps reduce acid contact on the teeth. Just brush and floss afterward. Even dried fruit clings to your teeth and produces harmful plaque acids. Choose fresh fruit instead.

To safely navigate this holiday season, treat your smile to healthy foods and drinks. And if you still need an end-of-year dental cleaning, please call 913-432-0765 to schedule with our dentists, Dr. Shelly Galvin or Dr. Kritika Thomas. Our Westwood Dental team in Kansas City, Kansas is here to help you maintain your healthy smile all year round!