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3 Hard Christmas Treats & Soft Alternatives To Help Prevent Tooth Damage

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The holiday season is a popular time where we tend to indulge our sweet tooth with a variety of treats that are only around once a year. Sugar is bad enough for your teeth as it is, but you do not want to show up at your next dental cleaning appointment with a chipped or cracked tooth due to hard treats. Instead of chomping on hard Christmas candy this year, substitute the treats for softer alternatives that can protect the structure of your tooth.

Peanut Brittle

One of the hardest Christmas treats, peanut brittle snaps into pieces and can do the same to your teeth. Hard edges can also cause cuts to your gums and cheeks. This can lead to more extensive cleanings and repairs at the dental office. If you're craving the peanut flavors that come with brittle, then there are better alternatives.

Non-baked peanut butter desserts offer soft options and typically have a smaller amount of sugar. This includes peanut butter balls or no-bake peanut butter bars that can be cut up and served like brownies. Real chopped peanuts can even be inserted into the mix if you're looking for a little crunch that is not as impactful as the brittle.

Salt-Water Taffy

Taffy is extremely chewy, can stick to gums, and takes forever to consume. For the potential damage it can do to your teeth, you're better off with a stocking full of coal instead of taffy. If you're craving a taffy-like flavor, look for specialty flavors of sugar-free gum. During the holidays, it's easier to find these flavors, which often include ones that are similar to the same taffy flavors. Along with checking out the snack shelves at a checkout lane, you can look for specialty gum in holiday sections of your local big box stores.

When visiting a dentist, they may offer various mouth washes or toothpastes that can create the taffy flavor as well. Any of these options are better than sacrificing your teeth for a bite of taffy.

Candy Canes

Candy canes are classic and delicious, but they weren't designed with dental health in mind. One crunch of a candy cane can cause an additional crunch for the teeth in your mouth. Luckily, because candy canes are one of the most popular treats, you can find numerous alternatives to consume around Christmas.

Enjoy candy canes in a liquid form with flavored coffee or hot chocolate. Candy cane stir sticks can melt right into a hot cup of the liquid, too. This prevents you from biting down directly on the candy. Candy cane pastries have a minty flavor and often include the same colors of a candy cane.

Even as you consume the alternative treats, you should be aware of the sugar that is in your mouth. Brush, floss, and follow dentist instructions for keeping your mouth clean. For more information, talk to a professional like Family & Cosmetic Dentistry.