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‘Tis the season for many things, not the least of which is food. This time of the year, tasty treats can be found everywhere. You can find them at parties, family gatherings and at the office. While an occasional holiday sweet can is fine, you will want to keep your teeth in mind as you peruse the offerings this year.

Try to keep the sugar at a minimum. Sugar is a key ingredient in many holiday foods, but since sugar interacts with the plaque on your teeth to create cavities, you should watch what you eat. The starches in baked goods can break down into sugars, so keep that in mind when it comes to bread and similar treats. Chocolate is appealing to many people, and if you go for it this year, look for the dark chocolate. It contains less sugar than milk chocolate and it has antioxidants that are useful to your body. Hard candy can be another pitfall. Peanut brittle, candy canes and similar foods can chip your teeth or damage your dental work. Hard candy, much like sticky candy such as caramel can linger on your teeth longer than other foods, and that increase your risk for cavities. Nuts often contain ingredients that your body can use, but be careful when eating them to avoid cracking or breaking a tooth. The good news is that many people provide health alternatives for guests and visitors during the holidays. Look for the fresh fruits and vegetables at holiday gatherings.

Of course, the best thing you can do for your teeth is to take care of them every day. That means brushing at least twice a day, flossing once a day, and seeing your dentist for your regular appointments. If the time has come for your cleaning and exam, our dentist, Dr. Denny Cho can help. If you live in the Salt Lake City, Utah area, you can call 801-583-4500 to plan your visit.