The Holidays, Your Diet, and Your Teeth

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As Santa Claus visits homes around the globe this Christmas, he’ll be eating a whole lot of snacks. In fact, according to a recent survey by Delta Dental, 71 percent of Americans plan to leave snacks out for Santa, his reindeer or both. And, given the top snacks people plan to leave out, Delta Dental says Santa may also want to pack a toothbrush.

So, what’s on American’s snack list for Santa? While the top snacks, cookies (82 percent) and milk (51 percent), should be no surprise, six percent of Americans say they plan to leave alcohol, so Santa may want to watch more than just his snack consumption on his busiest of nights.

What Americans plan to leave out for Santa (and his reindeer):

  • Cookies (82 percent)
  • Milk (51 percent)
  • Eggnog (11 percent)
  • Chocolate (11 percent)
  • Candy canes (10 percent)
  • Vegetables (9 percent)
  • Fruit (7 percent)
  • Alcohol (6 percent)
  • Chips (6 percent)
  • Cheese (6 percent)
  • Sandwich (5 percent)
  • Other (2 percent)

“As holidays bring out a lot of sugary treats, Santa, like all Americans this holiday season, should make sure to pay extra attention to good oral health,” said Bill Kohn, DDS, Delta Dental Plans Association’s vice president of dental science and policy. “Limiting sugary snacks and brushing after snacking will help keep your smile happy and healthy during the holiday season and year-round.”

To help keep the impact of sugary snacks in check, Delta Dental recommends:

  • Enjoying holiday sweets with or right after a meal, to take advantage of increased saliva production to help wash away the sugary remains. It will also fill you up so you won’t be tempted to overindulge.
  • Avoiding between meal sweet snacking. The more times the teeth are exposed to sugar each day, the more likely they are to get decay.
  • Make sure to drink extra water to stay hydrated and to help wash away sugar that may otherwise cause tooth decay.
  • Brushing for two minutes twice a day and floss every day. Practicing good oral hygiene will help keep your mouth clean and your teeth free of decay.

About the survey: The DDPA Fall 2017 Survey was conducted between November 6 and November 13, 2017 among 1,006 nationally representative Americans 18+. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent.

About Delta Dental Plans Association
Delta Dental Plans Association, based in Oak Brook, Ill., is the not-for-profit national association of the 39 independent Delta Dental companies.  Through its companies, Delta Dental is the nation’s leading dental benefits provider, covering more than 75 million Americans, and offering the country’s largest dental network with roughly 152,000 participating dentists. Delta Dental companies invested more than 69 million dollars in 2016 to help improve oral healthcare in local communities across the country. For more information, visit our website at

SOURCE Delta Dental Plans Association

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