Are Those Chinese New Year Treats Hurting Your Teeth?
When it comes to Chinese New Year celebrations, traditional snacks like barbecued dried meats (bak kwa) and pineapple tarts are a must-have. Enjoying these festive snacks together with family and friends is also a great way to bond during this auspicious time of the year. However, we tend to indulge in them without considering their adverse effects on our oral health.
Find out how festive treats can affect our oral health
Sticky and sugary food
Plaque bacteria thrive on sticky residues trapped on your teeth. Sticky food like bak kwa, sweet rice cake (nian gao) and pineapple tarts tend to cling onto your tooth surface, increasing your chances of tooth decay and gum disease.
Sticky food are also more likely to get caught in braces, potentially increasing your risk of tooth decay. Frequent snacking of sugar-laden Chinese New Year treats can eventually result in tooth decay.
Acidic food and beverages
The acids in carbonated drinks and citrus fruits such as mandarin oranges can erode your enamel if frequently ingested, leaving your teeth more susceptible to cavities and sensitivity problems.
Ice and hard food
Chewing ice poses several oral health risks despite being seemingly harmless. Biting on ice and hard food such as pistachio nuts and melon seeds can increase your risk of cracked teeth or dislodged dental fillings.
If you are wearing braces, consider cutting down on these food to prevent damage to the brackets and wires.
Maintaining Your Oral Health
In addition to brushing your teeth regularly and flossing, keeping yourself hydrated is equally important. Gulping water can help to flush food residues off your teeth.
If you are due for a dental checkup, visit a dentist to keep your teeth in tip-top condition. If you have outstanding dental issues that are unresolved, seek treatment promptly to avoid worsening of oral diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease. The last thing you would want is a dental emergency on your hand!
While you do not have to give up snacking on these festive goodies, always remember that moderation is key. Watching what you eat and practising good oral hygiene are essential to maintain oral health and prevent dental diseases.