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Smart Healthy Holiday Treats

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Holidays, like Chinese New Year, are the perfect time to get together as a family and celebrate. Traditional meals are prepared, sweet treats are in abundance, and sugary soda is flowing. But when old Uncle Arthur bee lines towards you for the welcome hug, you may find yourself ducking to avoid his noxious breath.

Sugary foods like cookies or fried treats are not only high in fat, they also cause decay and plaque build-up if proper oral care is not practiced . Cured meats and raw fish may get stuck in teeth crevices causing halitosis, more commonly known as bad breath . Sugary sodas contribute to tooth decay and are a breeding ground for germs.

Before you fret about the impact holiday foods may have on your teeth and breath, below are some easy, healthy holiday dessert recipe tips and oral care aids to help old Uncle Arthur, and you, keep your breath fresh, and teeth clean.

Something sweet

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Fresh fruit is not only a great source of fiber and antioxidants, it is the perfect alternative to desserts packed with sugar and fat. The mandarin orange and tangerine are considered symbols of abundance and good fortune, and are traditionally served around Chinese New Year. If you can’t avoid the sweet tooth, serve low sugar desserts or use alternative ingredients for cakes such as desserts made with low fat milk or with a lower sugar content. Avoid chewy sweets and preserved dried fruits that might stay in the mouth longer, subjecting the teeth to acid attack.

Did you know?

Luo Han Guo, a popular Asian fruit, is 300 times sweeter than sugar and rich in antioxidants. It has been used as a natural low-calorie sweetener, and dessert recipe alternative, in China for nearly a millennium.

Water to the rescue

If you do feel the need to indulge in wine or soda, alternate with a glass of water to wash away lingering germs that thrive on the sugar in these drinks. Water will also help prevent stains caused by sugary sodas like cola, or red wine.

Brush away

Keeping a healthy oral routine such as brushing your teeth twice daily with a Colgate 360°® toothbrush and flossing everyday with ADA-Accepted dental products means old Uncle Arthur won’t have to chase you down for that goodbye hug, and holidays remain the real treat.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.