Have you ever wondered about Santa’s oral health? (or is that just us dental nerds??) I got to thinking about Christmas Eve, and Santa’s travels from household to household, leaving gifts and filling stockings … and enjoying cookies and milk at every stop. Now, please don’t look at my statistics or math too closely here (I don’t claim to be a statistician or mathematician, but rather a Dental Assistant with access to Google) If you consider that there are approximately 14.1 million households in Canada alone, that is a lot of milk and cookie stops.
Because one of our neighbours here at The Tooth Doctors is Subway, I checked into the nutritional information for their chocolate chip cookies and found that there are approximately 18 grams of sugar per cookie. According to Dairyland Milk, one cup of milk contains 12 grams of sugar. If Santa has one cookie and once cup of milk at each house, that is 30 grams of sugar per stop. In Canada alone, that equals 423 million grams of sugar (in one night!!)
We all know that having too much sugar can lead to cavities. Cavities occur when bacteria in your mouth digest sugar and produce acid, which can cause teeth to demineralize and develop decay. The good news is that dairy products such as milk, contain calcium and phosphates that help remineralize and strengthen teeth and can help maintain a healthy balance in the mouth.
Who is Santa’s dentist?
Does he/she provide Christmas Eve oral health instructions to Santa, advising him to brush and floss between stops? To cut back on the sugary treats? To rinse with water between houses and chew sugar free gum to stimulate saliva flow? Does he/she recommend fibrous fruits and veggies (like the carrots left out for the reindeer)? And to make regular dental visits a priority?
Perhaps, if like everything else about Christmas and Santa, we simply believe in the magic and wonder of the season, we can rest assured that Santa has a healthy smile, despite his enormous intake of sugar that one evening every year.