When I was a child, we could always count on getting a Lifesaver “book” in my stocking. Each “book” contained 12 rolls of different flavored Lifesavers, some flavors better then others. ( I’m looking at you, rum Lifesavers!) You would be better served just closing the book on these candies, as hard candies are terrible for your teeth. Besides being almost pure sugar, the stickiness makes the sugar hang out on your teeth longer and the hardness of the candy can chip or break fillings and teeth.
Like Lifesavers, candy canes are hard and full of sugar. Sucking on them will bathe your teeth in sugar and the longer you suck on them, the more potential for decay. Use those candy canes for crafts and not cavities. Click here for some great Christmas crafts with candy canes.
Depending on how it is made, this can be one of the hardest candies to bite into. I have a patient that makes the most delicious peanut brittle and I tease her that she should include my business cards with each batch!
Hey, aren’t those Easter candies? Not anymore. You can get Peep trees, reindeer, gingerbread men and snowmen. These treats are basically fluffy sugar and the sticky nature of the Peep has the candy hanging out in your mouth for hours and the cavity causing bacteria love that.
Of course Jolly Ranchers has a holiday hard candy mix. Filled with sugar? Check. Sticky? Yes, and they are as hard as rock. This little candy has pulled out many fillings and crowns. Weirdly enough, there is a candy like product a lot like a Jolly Rancher that we dentists use to purposely remove crowns. Check it out at this link.
This treat is a traditional Scandinavian mulled wine drink that is filled with sugar. Because of the wine and citrus fruits, it also is very acidic. The acid will erode the enamel on your teeth and the wine could also stain your teeth.
No hot chocolate? Talk about Bah, Humbug! The milk content makes it sound healthier than it is. A 16 ounce mug of hot chocolate can have as much as 43 grams of sugar. Let’s do the math: If 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon of sugar, then that hot chocolate has over TEN teaspoons of sugar in it!
Of course, we are not saying you should celebrate the holidays with only lettuce and water. There are some great alternatives to these sugary treats on our naughty list. A simple search in your favorite search engine for healthy holiday treats can help you with ideas. When you do choose to indulge in some of those listed above, and we all will, make sure you brush soon and well afterwards.