DOCTORS issuing Christmas revellers with a bizarre warning this year - to avoid overdosing on fruit cake and candy canes.
Australians have also been warned that fruit cake, cranberry sauce, candy canes and other Christmas foods are high in sugar and can be big contributors to tooth decay.
Hunter New England oral health clinical director Dr Lanny Chor said people not only ate more sugar but ate it more frequently during the Christmas period.
"Frequency is as bad as quantity because the constant sugar levels stop saliva from doing its job, which is keeping the right pH levels in the mouth,'' Dr Chor said.
"One of the problems with the Christmas cake, chocolate-coated peanuts, candy canes, glace cherries and champagne is that there is often a continual period of eating between Christmas and New Year, exposing teeth to continuous acid attacks.''
Recent World Health Organisation data showed Australians eat an average 63 kilograms of sugar each year - more than a kilogram a week.
"Over the Christmas period, eat sensibly, brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste, especially before sleeping, and invest in looking after your teeth for the long term,'' Dr Chor said.
The Australia Medical Association said many Australians also associated heavy drinking with the festive season, but urged people to have a good time without putting their health at risk.
"Excess alcohol consumption is responsible for billions of dollars worth of illness and tragedy in Australia each year,'' AMA president Dr Rosanna Capolingua said.
"Alcohol abuse is the cause of many chronic health problems including cardiovascular disease, obesity, liver disease, and brain damage, and can lead to serious health risks such as acute alcohol poisoning.
"In addition to what it's doing to your body, excessive drinking can be the cause of all kinds of accidents, and no one wants to spend any time in a hospital emergency department.''