Tasty Treats without Regrets

For many of us, Thanksgiving marked the beginning of a long procession of holiday endeavors, among which, a lot of times, is a greater-than-usual amount of good food. Holiday office parties, Holiday School parties, Church luncheons and Business buffets – we revel in the monotony of work being broken up by the more social get-togethers. However, in the long run, we do not want our waistline to pay tribute to the festivities, or our health to suffer.

Be sweet, but in moderation

Did you know that bacteria feed off sugar? Not only do the bacteria in your mouth produce acid, which ultimately chips away at your tooth enamel, but if you are fighting a cold or flu, reducing you sugar intake will help your body fight the infection. Sugar molecules slow down your immune system, as well as feed bacteria. Not good! Wouldn’t it be better to forgo the immediate gratification of that extra piece of chocolate in favor of a swift recovery?

Going nuts over the Holidays

Nuts are always a great healthy addition to your diet, since they are rich in healthy oils and protein. During the holiday season we use them for pies, cakes and cookies, and instead of ready-made bags most grocery stores will sell bulk nuts in shells as well. They are fun and interesting, especially for children, who may never has seen a hazelnut, or an almond in its shell before. Just make sure to have an appropriate nut-cracker at hand as well. And if you want to make a big to-do it it, why not get a fancy nutcracker – the tin soldier kind we all know from the Nutcracker ballet? While hammers or pliers might work in an ‘emergency’ situation, – never, ever attempt to crack a nutshell with your teeth!

Short and sweet

As we talked about all the extra goodies at work, when you do indulge, keep another factor in mind: Time. Instead of snacking your way from breakfast to dinner, keep in mind that the shorter your sweet treat stays in your mouth, the less damage it can do. Instead of munching on three cookies for three hours, enjoy all three of them in three minutes. Then, if you have the opportunity, step out and brush your teeth, or, if you do not, drink some water to rinse down the crumbs along with the surplus sugar. Your teeth as well as your dentist will thank you.


Dr. Mead is an educator in the dental field, as well as an experienced family dentist with his practice located in Purcell, Oklahoma.
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