The holidays are here and the festive treats and drinks are all around us. Let’s talk about the best and worst holiday drinks for your teeth. Who enjoys a festive holiday party and a warm seasonal beverage? But unfortunately, holiday drinks and teeth don’t always mix well. Do we have to avoid all of the fun to keep our teeth healthy? No.
What I mean by that is, if you’ve been drinking say pumpkin spice lattes every day since late August or even early September, could you be ruining your teeth? Maybe yes. Because every single day is not good and that goes with anything. That’s not healthy to overdo anything, right? It’s good to know which drinks are the worst of the worst so you can always decide which ones you feel are worth the occasional treat.
Let’s start with eggnog.
The average serving of eggnog has somewhere around five teaspoons of sugar in it. It’s a lot of sugar. The limit according to the American heart association is six teaspoons per day. With one eggnog you’ve already almost reached your daily limit. Then add the alcohol which makes it even more acidic. It’s really one of the worst drinks ever for teeth because of the sugar alcohol combination putting you at extreme risk for tooth decay.
Next is White Russian.
These are cocktails that are loaded with heavy cream vodka and coffee liqueur. Not only are there sugar sweeteners and alcohol acids but the coffee part will also contribute to staining your teeth as well.
If it’s not spiked maybe it’s not as bad because there’s no alcohol. However hot chocolate is filled with so much sugar. You can imagine how everything fun seems to be loaded with sugar which of course increases your chance of cavities. The even more unfortunate thing about hot chocolate is that lots of kids love hot chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles. Super fun but definitely not something to drink every day because it greatly again increases the risk of tooth decay. So it’s much better to treat hot chocolate as a special event not as a lifestyle.
Again, spiked or not, it’s loaded with sweeteners and natural acids. So the same as hot chocolate, don’t overdo it because these sugars and these drinks are literally weakening our tooth enamel just covering every single part of your tooth thus increasing the chance of the cavity’s rampant decay.
Lastly back to alcohol. Let’s talk about mulled wine.
We all already know wine stains teeth. But in addition, it can etch away or erode your tooth enamel causing cavities again. And the alcohol, tannins, and wine can contribute to dry mouth which also increases your risk of tooth decay.
Are there any healthy alternatives ? Sure.
For example, a peppermint mocha latte would normally be on the worst drinks list, especially if you buy it from a coffee shop. It can contain up to 13 teaspoons of sugar which are way above the recommended limit. But the good thing is if you make something like this yourself at home, you can totally add fewer syrups and fewer sugars, significantly fewer sugars There are a ton of popular DIY peppermint mocha latte recipes online containing less than three teaspoons of sugar and they can still be a super tasty treat.
On that same note for all of those fun drinks that you buy from coffee shops and or pre-made from the store, it’s always worth finding the skinny recipe and creating your own beverages at home. DIY festive drinks for the holidays are the way to go for healthy teeth since you can control and limit the amount of sugar and sweeteners as well as the amount of coffee.
In all, the most important thing to remember during the holiday season is to occasionally enjoy festive drinks in moderation and drink water. While you’re indulging one hand with a fun drink and the other hand with a glass of water is ideal because sipping on the water will help wash away the sugars and neutralize the PH in your mouth thus decreasing your chance of getting cavities
Of course, do not get lazy with your home care routine of brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and visiting your dental office every six months for checkups and cleanings to make sure your teeth are staying happy and healthy throughout the holiday season.
Hope this helped you.