6 Tips For Keeping Away Cavities (And Extra Pounds) Over The Holidays

Posted on: 14 November 2014

The holiday season is a notorious diet-wrecker, a time when people tend to overindulge on rich foods and sweet treats.  Society justifies it as a "splurge" time, a celebration with family and friends, a time to throw caution to the wind. However, there is a price to be paid in terms of extra pounds, tight clothes and - if you're lax on your dental hygiene, too - cavities. Use these tips to help you exercise moderation this holiday season so that you can enjoy yourself without guilt (and a trip to the dentist) in the new year:

1. Keep a Food Journal

A food journal is one of the best ways to hold yourself accountable for what you eat. These days, the caloric information for most foods can be found either on the package or online. Give yourself a "bank account" of calories you can "spend" each day based upon your ideal weight, and don't go over that limit.

2. Just a Taste of Sweets

It's so hard to resist those rich chocolates, Christmas cookies, eggnog and other tasty holiday treats, but strive to have them in moderation. Savor each bite slowly, and try and brush your teeth after dessert or any sweet treat indulgence.

3. Healthy Snacking

Grazing at snack tables can be "dangerous" as well; use the smallest plate available and try and gravitate toward the raw veggies; crunchy vegetables have a cleansing effect upon teeth and are very low in calories. Another good choice is in-the-shell nuts, which take longer to eat than other foods and have a satiating effect that helps you stay satisfied longer.

4. Portion Control

You don't have to deny yourself all of the rich foods you love - just enjoy them in moderation. Portion control is key to staying healthy both over the holidays and all year round.

5. Water to Wine

Alcoholic beverages contain lots of "hidden" calories as well as sugars and acids that can be harmful to teeth. If you do indulge, use moderation, and alternate each alcoholic drink with a glass of cleansing, hydrating water.

6. Weigh Yourself Regularly

Along with keeping a food journal, weighing yourself daily or weekly is one of the best ways to hold yourself accountable and maintain a healthy weight during the holidays - and all year round.

Staying healthy during the holidays takes some willpower and vigilance, but it can be done. Use these six tips to help you stay on track and save your smile as well as your waistline. For more tips, contact a local dentist like Scott W. Murphy, DMD, P.A..