When you think of holiday cheer, you may think of holiday parties and sweet treats. You may be wondering, “How many apple pies will I try this season?” or “Can I get away with eating two candy canes back to back without anyone noticing?” This is a fair question to ask when there are candy jars around every corner and holiday get togethers every weekend. But, there is more to this season’s spirit than the holiday sugar overload.
Although sweetness is one of the only cravings we are actually born with, sugar is not good for your oral health and overall well-being. Sure natural sweet foods like fruit won’t hurt us, but added sugar is a top cause of tooth decay. The sugars that settle in your mouth and around your teeth break down into acids which eat away at your enamel and eventually your teeth. Here are a few ways you can avoid those overly sweet desserts while still celebrating to the fullest!
Host a Secret Santa
If you insist on having a get together every year, more power to you. But instead of asking your guests to bring a plate to share, ask them to participate in a Secret Santa gift trade. This way, you can control the sweets and treats available at the party and can limit your temptations. During the holidays, everyone has that guilty conscious in the back of their mind reminding them that eating these over sweetened desserts will hurt their health, so your guests will thank you for providing alternative options.
Use Natural Sweeteners
Refined sugar is the worst type and can be completely avoided if you find your favorite natural alternative. Consider using Stevia, a natural sugar that comes from plants in South America. There are a variety of natural sweeteners and they are all worth experimenting with in your favorite holiday recipe. Other alternatives such as honey or molasses can cut down both sugar intake and tooth decay.
Find Alternative Recipes
Gingerbread cookies are a great low-sugar option that everyone loves and are very festive. Serve them plain like gingersnaps or use low-sugar frosting to decorate the gingerbread men. Also, using ingredients like oatmeal, peanut butter, or raisins are all semi-sweet alternatives to the infamous sugar cookie with the same amount of cookie as icing.
Quitting sugar during the holidays seems like a near impossible task, but the benefits can outweigh the struggles if you are dedicated to stronger teeth and oral health. Contact A Beautiful Smile at Lake Pointe in Houston, Texas to talk to our dentists about ways to cut sugar out of your diet. Start the season off right with a full cleaning and keep those sugars off your teeth.