20 Dec The Best and Worst Holiday Foods For Your Teeth
With the family meals and trays of baked goods you have ahead of you these coming weeks, it’s easy to let your oral health slip a little. We don’t blame you. But if you’re looking to stay on top of it, our “naughty and nice” lists of holiday foods should keep both you and your teeth happy.
“Naughty” Holiday Foods
Here’s where you should limit yourself this holiday.
This should come as no surprise. Candy canes (and other slow-dissolving hard candies) are almost entirely of sugar. Bacteria in your mouth feed on that sugar, eroding tooth enamel and increasing your risk of cavities.
Caramel is delicious, but it’s the godfather of sugary treats. It can get where candy canes cannot, getting stuck between teeth, attacking enamel, and causing tooth decay. Other sweets of this variety include peanut brittle and pudding.
Don’t be fooled. You may find eggnog next to the milk, but it is not that good for you or your teeth. It’s loaded with sugar and dairy products that hug your teeth. When coupled with alcohol, you’re asking for a dry mouth that’s extra susceptible to bacteria growth. Limit your rum and eggnogs, or get into a habit of drinking tea this holiday.
Experience has taught you that white wine won’t stain your teeth the way reds do. Unfortunately, white wine is just as bad for your teeth, if not worse. Reds can prevent tooth decay by killing bad bacteria in your mouth, while the acidic content of whites actually enables pigmented foods and drinks to stain your teeth more deeply.
Clementines and mandarin oranges are the fruits of the season. They’re a refreshing and sweet snack made all the more wholesome because you’re eating real fruit. Just make sure you aren’t eating too many, too often, as oranges are highly acidic and can affect your enamel.
“Nice” Holiday Foods
Delicious holiday foods you can feel good about eating!
Leafy greens contain calcium, and vegetables like broccoli and carrots contain fibre and vitamin A, which produces saliva. Saliva coats your teeth and gums and protects them from cavities and disease.
Tastes great, strengthens enamel, and increases saliva production. Cheese is great for your teeth because it’s also an excellent source of calcium.
Nuts are a strong source of fatty acids that are good for your gums. Feel free to indulge in a nut tray. Just be sure to crack open any hard shells with something other than your teeth, and limit yourself on the sticky, candied variety.
Turkey meat is lean and full of phosphorus, which is a prominent mineral that strengthens your bones and teeth. That said, it’s clear which meat you should be reaching for.
It’s easy to let your busy holiday schedule get in the way of your brushing regimen. Combining that with so many sweet desserts, and you can actually cause a lot of harm to your teeth. Our final tip: Keep a travel toothbrush on you to clean away any sticky foods after you eat them.