It’s just a fact of life, if you have sensitive teeth, you may need to avoid eating foods that are extremely hot, cold or sugary — even during the holidays. We know what you’re thinking. Why is the universe always against our taste buds, right?
And when you find yourself in an all-you-can-eat situation at holiday buffets, you enter risky territory to trigger the problem or make it worse. Thankfully, there’s a way to combat sensitive teeth and it starts with eating less sugar (hey, I never said this was a win-win situation). You may not want to eliminate these foods and drinks from your holiday diet entirely — vices are vices for a reason — but if you can limit your intake when you hit the buffets, you’ll be doing your teeth a solid.
1. Pies with fruit
This may be good news for anyone who loves pecan pie or pumpkin pie, but not so much for all the apple pie die-hards out there. As Finkel hinted at, the sugar in pie (including pumpkin and pecan) will contribute to sensitive teeth, but fruit pies are a double whammy since fruit itself contains so much sugar. When you must indulge, at least avoid the pies filled with fruit.
2. The scoop of ice cream on pie
Ice cream also gets two strikes. It’s loaded with sugar which can lead to tooth decay — strike one. It’s cold which triggers pain in sensitive teeth — strike two. Eating too much ice cream both causes the problem and triggers the side effects.
3. No wine with your cheese (sorry!)
Realistically, most people won’t totally deprive themselves of good wine during the holidays. Whether you love your family or they drive you bonkers, drinking is usually a key part of the equation this time of year. Just remember, wine equals sugar, so the less you drink, the less likely you are to trigger tooth sensitivity. Plus, wine tends to stain your teeth — just another reason to avoid it, unless you want purple teeth in every one of your holiday pictures.
On the bright side, cheese contains a protein that helps strengthen your teeth. Maybe, just maybe, you can break even with a plate of cheese and a glass of wine at your holiday party (or at least pretend?).
Eggnog is one of those drinks people either hate with a passion or love to death. If you’re someone who loves it, your dentist probably hates that you love it and you can probably guess why: the insane amount of sugar. Sigh.
5. Vinaigrette salad dressings
If you can manage to make room for salad after filling up on turkey, ham, stuffing and other holiday sides, more power to you. But, according to Finkel, if that salad is doused in a vinaigrette dressing, your teeth won’t be feeling so victorious. There’s more sugar in those dressings that you might think, and the sweeter they are, the more they will hurt.
6. Anything that’s too hot
Just as cold foods like ice cream will make you wince, eating hot foods is no walk in the park when you have sensitive teeth. This includes soups, mashed potatoes, gravy and piping hot hors d’oeuvres. In most cases, you can avoid doing causing pain from sensitive teeth simply by being patient when food is still steaming. Though, your sense of smell may prove this difficult.
All in all, don’t feel bad about sipping wine and enjoying your favorite holiday foods. Just remember the motto “everything in moderation” and your teeth will be grateful. And if you do indulge, be sure to follow up by brushing your teeth using a gentle whitening toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth..
This post was sponsored by Sensodyne® True White®.